'It's up to him' - Patrick Bamford talks up Leeds United youngster Joe Gelhardt amid Wayne Rooney comparisons

The Whites leading marksmen has cast his verdict on Joe Gelhardt.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:38 pm
Leeds United youngster Joe Gelhardt. Pic: Getty

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has talked up rising star Joe Gelhardt and echoed comparisons to Wayne Rooney.

The 18-year-old forward joined the Leeds ranks last summer from cash-strapped Wigan Athletic and has made a swift impression in West Yorkshire.

Gelhardt has caught the eye of supporters in the development ranks this term, scoring seven goals and recording two assists in 13 Premier League 2 games for Mark Jackson's Under-23s outfit.

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He was named in Marcelo Bielsa's senior squad for the first time last month against Crystal Palace and has since filled out the bench amid injuries at first team level on a regular basis.

Bamford - who has bagged 13 goals and six assists in the Premier League so far this season - has admitted he has been thoroughly impressed by the youngster in training behind closed doors at Thorp Arch.

Gelhardt has already represented England at youth level and reminds United's number nine of a certain former Three Lions and Manchester United stalwart.

"Joffy, Gelhardt, he is going to be good, I think," Bamford told the Official Leeds United Podcast.

"He reminds me - I don't want to say the same level as [Wayne] Rooney - but he is the same kind of build as Rooney was. A stocky lad, great finisher.

“It is just whether or not he kind of sticks with it, he is young, isn't he, so he can look good at that age and not make anything of it.

“It is up to him to kind of push on.“

Bielsa was also asked about the former Latics academy product recently following his inclusion against the Eagles.

"He’s a player that always creates danger in a game," the Whites head coach said of the Gelhardt's abilities.

"He’s a player who’s more linked with the finalising of chances rather than the creation of them. He has resources to beat an opponent and he has a final shot, a finish that is very good."