Slim pickings but Joe Gelhardt theme continues as burning Leeds United question still remains

Teen striker Joe Gelhardt was finally called for in the 74th minute of Leeds United's clash at Crystal Palace and produced his latest bright enough impact on a night of slim pickings in the final third.

By Lee Sobot
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 11:30 am

Nineteen-year-old Gelhardt was being considered as a possible starter for last month's clash at Wolves but the forward suffered a back spasm in the run up to the game as part of a series of niggles or setbacks.

The striker's progress was also disrupted by a false Covid test and then a dead leg playing for United's under-23s but the teen was very much back in contention for Monday night's clash at Palace for which Dan James again started upfront.

Leeds offered very little going forward at Selhurst Park and indeed Whites boss Jesse Marsch's first change was made in centre midfield as Robin Koch replaced Mateusz Klich during the break.

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CHECKING IN: Nineteen-year-old Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt, left, arrives for Monday night's Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

An attacking change was then called for in the 59th minute as James was withdrawn but for Gelhardt's young team mate and close pal Sam Greenwood who effectively set up two goals upon his introduction at Watford before the recent break.

Greenwood's arrival at Selhurst Park meant Rodrigo moving upfront but the game ended with United's two young forwards being paired together as Gelhardt was finally brought on for Rodrigo with 16 minutes left.

Leeds were not exactly hammering the Palace door down even before Gelhardt was brought on and in his 16 minutes on the pitch plus three minutes added time the teen only had seven touches of the ball.

But one of those resulted in just United's second attempt on target during the whole night, the other being a Liam Cooper downward header from a first-half corner which was easily saved.

Gelhardt worked room on the edge of the box in typical fashion before unleashing a low shot for his attempt but Eagles keeper Vicente Guaita was able to make an easy save.

Gelhardt was also successful in one of his two attempted aerial battles and completed one successful dribble during his time on the pitch which was largely about Leeds digging in at the other end to take a point.

In that sense, in the end, it was mission accomplished, even though the Whites arrived at Palace looking for all three points and not just one.

But another week has featured another positive impact from the bench for Gelhardt who is continually advertising his claims for more minutes, starts even, and definitely more than 16 minutes from the bench.