Leeds United in advanced talks with striker 'central' to the future with several to follow

Leeds United are in advanced talks with Joe Gelhardt over a new long-term deal.

By Graham Smyth
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 10:13 pm

A breakthrough year in the Premier League reinforced the club’s belief that the youngster is central to their future plans.Gelhardt, who turned 20 in May, featured 20 times in the top flight, scoring two goals and adding four assists – one of which allowed Pascal Struijk to score a vital last-gasp equaliser against Brighton as the relegation battle neared its finale.After a stellar first year at Thorp Arch in the Under 23s, the former Wigan Athletic prospect continued to show last season that life had become comfortable in Premier League 2, scoring seven times in 10 outings. A sensational double against Liverpool, the club he supported as a young boy, was the undoubted highlight.At first team level Gelhardt had to be patient, playing just three times in the first four months of the top flight campaign, but his chances increased as the season developed and Patrick Bamford’s injury problems stacked up.Niggling injuries hampered Gelhardt too, yet he appeared in 10 of new head coach Jesse Marsch’s dozen games in charge, scoring a memorable late winner at Elland Road against Norwich City to give the American his first three-point haul.Although he has two years left to run on his deal, a new contract has been on the cards for some time could be concluded next week. The forward is the first of several who will enter discussions over improved terms in the coming weeks.Another young attacker likely to talk over his future with Leeds in the weeks ahead is Crysencio Summerville, who is not thought to be heading out on loan and so will remain part of Marsch’s first team plans. The Dutch Under 21 winger is into the final year of his contract at Elland Road and he too had to exercise patience last season, appearing just six times in the Premier League having fired in six goals in a dozen league games for the 23s. He twice celebrated hat-tricks, with one coming in the PL Cup and another in PL2 action.

An ankle injury, sustained in the final training session before the visit to Crystal Palace in April, ended his campaign early.A September 2020 signing from Feyenoord, where he came through the academy system, Summerville brought senior experience from loan spells at FC Dordrecht and ADO Den with him to Leeds but made the first team bench just once for a Premier League game in his debut season. A loan move away in January did at one stage look probable, with Marcelo Bielsa confirming that the 20-year-old did request a move, but Leeds were keen to keep him at Elland Road for the second half of the season.

NEW DEAL - Leeds United are in advanced talks over a new long-term deal with striker Joe Gelhardt. Pic: Getty