Leeds latest news: Fears exciting Elland Road youngster could be overlooked

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa looking unimpressed

Journalist Tom Barclay is not convinced that Leeds striker Joe Gelhardt will make his England Under-21s debut tomorrow, despite being fast-tracked into the squad.

The 19-year-old has only made one appearance at Under-20s level for his country, but has already impressed coaches enough to move to the age group above in the current international break.

Who is Joe Gelhardt?

Gelhardt rose through the ranks at Wigan Athletic, before being picked up by Leeds for £900,000 in August 2020.

He has yet to appear in the Premier League for Marcelo Bielsa's men, but he has been impressing for the club's Under-23s. Last term, he scored 11 goals in 16 league matches for the youth team, and his numbers are even more eye-catching this season, as he has netted six goals in as many games.

His goalscoring exploits saw him called up to England Under-21s for the current international break. He was an unused substitute against Slovenia Under-21s on Thursday night, but he could still play when the team return to action on Monday.

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What has Barclay said about Gelhardt?

When asked by GIVEMESPORT why Gelhardt had been called up, Barclay admitted that he felt the coaches simply wanted him to get to know the other players in the squad. He feels that Gelhardt may not actually get on the pitch tomorrow.

Speaking about Gelhardt, Barclay said: “I think largely it’s for the experience of being around the Under-21s. And they talk about the pathway all the time to further that. So he did that last month with Aaron Ramsey, not the Aaron Ramsey we know, but Jacob Ramsey of Aston Villa’s younger brother, who got promoted to the Under-21s.

“He didn’t feature, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same with Joe Gelhardt and Clinton Mola of Stuttgart, who also was brought up from the Under-20s.”

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Who are England Under-21s playing tomorrow?

The Under-21s will travel to play Andorra on Monday. Their opponents have lost all four of their qualifying matches to date, and have yet to score a goal in the group.

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With this in mind, England will be expected to win comfortably. Manager Lee Carsley will no doubt name a strong line-up to ensure that his team secure all three points, but if the side do open up a commanding lead he may well decide that it's the right moment to bring Gelhardt into the game, and the Leeds youngster could be handed his debut at this level.

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