Leeds United's contract success highlighted as dozen players commit to long-term Elland Road future

Leeds United have extended the contracts of young trio Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville

Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 3:40 pm

Leeds have secured the long-term futures of some of their most exciting young players this week with the confirmation that Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville have agreed to extend their stays at Elland Road.

The talented trio all arrived in the summer of 2020 and have since broken into the first-team setup under Jesse Marsch, playing an increasing role in pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.

Gelhardt’s extension sees him commit his future to Leeds until 2027, while Greenwood and Summerville have both signed until 2026.

Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt pens a new five-year contract (Pic: Leeds United)

In doing so, Leeds have issued a marker to their other young players, and perhaps even those tempted by the prospect of a Leeds switch.

Opportunities have been forthcoming after leading displays at reserve level and the reward of new contracts is reflective of their growing importance in the United dressing room.

The term ‘statement of intent’ is bandied about frequently in modern football’s vernacular, but managing to persuade three youth internationals who each look set for breakout top flight campaigns, to commit to long-term deals is a significant one.

Not least because teams looking to poach the burgeoning youngsters will be forced to part with increasingly eye-watering sums to break them out of their United deals.

Leeds now have 12 first-team members contracted to the club until 2026-or-later, with five players on five-year deals.

They include Patrick Bamford, Illan Meslier, the aforementioned Gelhardt, Greenwood and Summerville, as well as fresh-faced quintet Marc Roca, Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen.

A spine of talented, internationally-experienced, predominantly young, players have made it clear they wish to progress their careers at Leeds, which is difficult to interpret in anything but a positive light.

In addition to the group listed above, young defenders Leo Hjelde and Charlie Cresswell – the latter currently on loan at Millwall in the Championship – are both contracted until 2025.

Leeds are planning for a Premier League future and those on the longest deals are likely to be the protagonists of the club’s evolution under Jesse Marsch.

Rarely has a Leeds United squad over the past two decades been built with the distant future so clearly in mind.