Why Leeds United have allowed Joe Gelhardt to join Sunderland despite interest from Middlesbrough and Wigan
Sunderland have beaten Championship opposition to complete the loan signing of striker Joe Gelhardt from Leeds United – but what can fans expect?
Wigan and Blackburn were also interested in signing Gelhardt, while there was also a late attempt from Middlesbrough to sign the 20-year-old frontman.
To find out more, we caught up with Leeds writer Joe Donnohue from our sister title TheYorkshire Evening Post to ask about Sunderland’s new signing.
What sort of player is Gelhardt and what are his main attributes
JD: “Gelhardt is a centre-forward who can also play a bit deeper or as a second striker. I think he'd be a good foil for Ross Stewart as he certainly won't be competing for the same place in the team.
"He's better at running at defences, forcing his way through rather than playing on the shoulder and leading the line. He's got a good frame on him for such a young man, carries himself well in physical challenges and can rattle off a mean shot.”
What is his best position and can he play in multiple positions?
JD: “As above, yes Gelhardt can play No. 9, No. 10 or as a supporting forward.”
Why have Leeds allowed him to leave on loan?
JD: “Gelhardt needs minutes to continue his development and remains highly thought of at Leeds.
"With the signing of Georginio Rutter for a club-record fee, as well as Rodrigo's form (12 goals in 20 matches) and Patrick Bamford's return to fitness, game-time will be hard to come by.”
How much of an impact did he make in Leeds’ first team?
JD: “Last season, he was used primarily as an impact sub and did create a few memorable moments, such as his last-gasp winner against Norwich in March, and the assist for Pascal Struijk's equaliser versus Brighton in Leeds' penultimate game of the season, which showcased a lovely shimmy to beat Lewis Dunk at the byline.”
How ready do you think he is to make an impact in the Championship ?
JD: “I think the top half of the Championship is exactly where Gelhardt suits at the moment and in a team which plays good football, with a frontman to play off like Stewart, it's a very smart fit.”