Leeds United-bound starlet could emulate Liverpool wonderkid

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Leeds United have high hopes for the summer.

After securing promotion to the Premier League the focus must now be on staying there.

If the Whites are to do that then they'll need to sign players who can hit the ground running and help the club to avoid relegation next term.

After all they don't want to risk another 16-year exile from the top flight.

But while signings for the immediate future will be key, it's one for the future that seems that have got tongues wagging.

Reports have claimed that Joe Gelhardt is closing in on a move to Elland Road.

The Wigan Athletic starlet is regarded as one of the hottest prospects outside of the Premier League.

At 18 years of age it's unlikely that the striker would become an automatic starter for Marcelo Bielsa's side, but according to former Leeds man Noel Whelan, it's crucial that the attacker is afforded the same opportunity to settle as Liverpool wonderkid Harvey Elliott.

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Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said: “I would like to keep him at the club.

"It is important that he beds himself into this environment. He is at a new club with new surroundings and you need to get use to that as a player.

“He is young but that does not matter. We have seen it happen at Liverpool with Harvey Elliott. Sometimes it can benefit a youngster from being in and around the manager, players, staff and training ground rather than signing for a club and going straight out on loan.

“We saw that with Jack Clarke and it has not worked out. I think it is nice to stay at the club you have just signed for, at least for the first 12 months.

“Leeds do not have an abundance of strikers so there might be game time for him next season depending on who we bring in.”

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GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

Joe Gelhardt could be an incredibly shrewd piece of business from Leeds United.

While Wigan Athletic's financial plight is bad news for the game, the Yorkshire side have done very well to capitalise.

Gelhardt could be an important player for Leeds in years to come, but his role this season is likely to be limited.

If he is to arrive from Wigan then he needs to be afforded time to settle at Elland Road.

Even if that means spending a few months settling in to Marcelo Bielsa's squad, before heading out on loan in January.

It's crucial that he's made to feel like part of the first team squad, and if he was to head straight out on loan then he risks becoming excluded.

By spending half of the season at Leeds and half of it away, it means that not only can he settle but he can get valuable first team football that will aid his development in the long run.

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