By Noel Whelan

4th Jul, 2021 | 7:45am

Whelan thrilled by Gelhardt news emerging from Leeds United

Noel Whelan has raved over Joe Gelhardt’s “hunger” after Leeds United returned to pre-season training.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he was delighted to hear the 19-year-old had been working hard in the build-up to the Whites’ summer preparations.

Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds on the Whites’ first day of pre-season (July 1st), Gelhardt said it was the “sharpest and fittest” he’s ever been.

He revealed he had gone through a “tough off-season” to be ready for Leeds’ preparations ahead of next season.

Whelan lauded the 19-year-old for his “dedication and desire” and insisted it would not go unnoticed at Thorp Arch.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It’s dedication, that desire, that hunger when the season is finished.

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“Give yourself a bit of downtime but not that much. You know straight away you want to hit the ground running when you come back.

“They’ll see that this kid is a hungry kid who really wants to start pushing. He’s definitely got the talent, there’s no doubt about that.

“You want to be ahead of the players that have been playing, you want to test your Bamford’s, your Rodrigo’s.

“Really, you want to be pushing them. They had a great under-23 season last year but that’s not where he wants to play this year.

“I think every under-23 that’s there would love to be part of the first-team squad.”

Gelhardt joined Leeds from Wigan Athletic last summer.

While he is yet to make his senior debut, he was on the bench for eight Premier League games last term.

In other news, ‘Wow Mr Radrizzani’ – Whelan raves as Leeds United stun Everton in transfer window.