Leeds: Marsch wants to unleash 'really exciting' £9m star at Elland Road

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch celebrates

Leeds United want to see striker Joe Gelhardt continue to play at Elland Road this season despite the arrival of Wilfried Gnonto on transfer deadline day, according to Sky Sports reporter Tim Thornton.

Jesse Marsch oversaw a busy few months of business in West Yorkshire and managed to add some much-needed depth to his attacking unit before the cut-off.

What is the latest striker news from Leeds?

Gnonto’s arrival was confirmed by the club on the final day of trading this summer, with the 18-year-old penning a five-year deal with the Whites.

It is understood that a £3.8 million fee was agreed with FC Zurich for his services, after the player entered the final year of his contract, with the Swiss giants also inserting a 15% sell-on clause in the deal.

While he is still a teenager, Gnonto arrives at Elland Road with an impressive CV  having scored 12 goals in 74 appearances for Zurich, 10 of which came in the previous campaign.

He also boasts four caps for Roberto Mancini’s Italian national side too, scoring his first goal in a 5-2 Nations League defeat to Germany.

But what could Gnonto’s arrival mean for the future of Gelhardt? Thornton has previously told GiveMeSport that balancing any new signings with the academy product’s development would be key.

Patrick Bamford also continues his return from injury and was a second-half substitute in their 5-2 defeat to Brentford on Saturday.

What has Thornton said on the matter?

Thornton understands that Gelhardt’s future was taken into consideration when it came to this summer’s transfer business.

The Sky Sports reporter says that the 20-year-old remains highly rated among the coaching staff and board, and they continue to see him as someone who can thrive in the Premier League.

When asked about Leeds’ approach in the market, Thornton told GIVEMESPORT: “One of the big factors was Joe Gelhardt. They think a lot of him and bringing someone in could have knocked him further down the pecking order and I think they want to see him given opportunities to show what he’s all about. They think that he is a player that can perform in the Premier League.”

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Mateusz Bogusz - Leeds

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How has Gelhardt performed for Leeds?

The youngster has made five appearances already this season and was given his first start of the Premier League campaign against Brentford.

However, he failed to impact proceedings on a disappointing day and was withdrawn before the hour mark.

Last season saw him play 20 times in the top-flight, notching two goals and four assists in the process, leading former manager Marcelo Bielsa to describe him as a ‘really exciting’ player.

But, with added competition for places now, there is no doubt that Gelhardt, who is valued at £9 million by CIES, will be expected to step up another level.  

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