open menulivescore

One To Watch: All you need to know about teen sensation Gelhardt
Copy icon

Matthew Hill
Teenage forward Joe Gelhardt has set pulses racing with his impact for Leeds this term
Teenage forward Joe Gelhardt has set pulses racing with his impact for Leeds this term

Joe Gelhardt wrote himself into the record books on Saturday — and the future looks extremely bright for the English forward.

By netting his first ever Premier League goal at Chelsea, Gelhardt became the first teenager to score for the Whites in the top flight since James Milner in 2004.

Here is everything you need to know about the Yorkshire club's new goalscoring sensation. 

Big reputation

Born and raised in the footballing hotbed of Merseyside, Gelhardt was picked up by former Premier League club Wigan as a 10-year-old in 2013 — the year the Latics famously won the FA Cup.

And while things have been far from plain sailing at the DW Stadium in the years that have followed, Gelhardt’s development in Lancashire was a real success story.

In August 2018, 16-year-old Gelhardt was given his professional debut in a Carabao Cup match at Rotherham before later making his Championship debut in the same campaign against Birmingham.

Yet it was the following season when the youngster really broke through, featuring 19 times as Wigan so nearly pulled off one of the all-time great escapes during an extreme financial crisis.

When relegation — and later administration — was confirmed, it was clear that any assets would need to be sold and Leeds fended off several Premier League giants to land Gelhardt for a reported £1million fee.

Earning his chance

Joe Gelhardt struck a confident penalty against Fulham in the Carabao Cup earlier this season
Joe Gelhardt struck a confident penalty against Fulham in the Carabao Cup earlier this season

Making the jump into Premier League football is no mean feat for any emerging star and Leeds unsurprisingly opted to let their new acquisition cut his teeth in their youth ranks last term.

However, the confident centre-forward showed no intention of settling for steady development, netting an impressive 11 goals in just 16 Premier League 2 outings last season.

Making the first-team bench eight times without getting on, talk was rife among Whites fans in the summer over whether the youngster could make his big breakthrough at Elland Road this season.

Sure enough, six goals in as many Under-23s appearances by mid-September saw him drafted into the first-team squad once again — and this time a chance presented itself.

Marcelo Bielsa threw Gelhardt on late against Southampton for his debut and only a week later he was winning a last-minute penalty that allowed Rodrigo to net a precious equaliser against Wolves.

For Leeds fans, his impact against Chelsea was not all that surprising.

Special moment

Emotions were running high on Saturday when 19-year-old Gelhardt nipped in front of the mighty Thiago Silva to prod home Tyler Roberts’ low cross and draw Leeds level at Stamford Bridge.

Celebrating wildly in front of the travelling fans, he looked certain to have snatched his side a deserved point before a last-gasp Jorginho penalty broke hearts and sealed Chelsea a 3-2 win.

Despite the pain of losing late, nobody could deny Gelhardt — and those close to him — a memory that will last a lifetime.

Speaking after the game, Gelhardt said: "It was an unbelievable experience scoring my first Premier League goal.

"I just want to thank my family and everyone who I have worked with coming up with at Wigan, and all the staff here and players here as well. 

"Especially my family, I am sad they couldn’t be here today but I know they were watching at home. It was unfortunate at the end to lose with the penalty, but that’s football."

Great promise

Joe Gelhardt's early appearances in the Premier League have been hugely promising
Joe Gelhardt's early appearances in the Premier League have been hugely promising

Now certain to play a more prominent role in the remainder of Leeds’ season, all eyes will be on how Gelhardt builds on his impressive start to life in the top tier.

Comparisons with Wayne Rooney have already begun due to his Liverpudlian roots and all-action style of centre-forward play, while Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp described him as a "human wrecking ball" following his first start against Tottenham last month.

While all that hype still has to be backed up, the early statistics look extremely promising too.

No player has taken on more shots per 90 minutes than him (5.26) in the Premier League so far and Gelhardt only trails Wolves winger Adama Traore in the league’s take-ons charts (7.23 attempted, 5.91 completed).

Of course, Gelhardt’s sample size remains pretty small in comparison to other players — but there are indications that he truly is the real deal.

Continuing to develop

Gelhardt finds himself joined by Patrick Bamford in the Leeds forward ranks — a player who knows all about the challenges of delivering on high potential.

Leeds boss Bielsa clearly believes that Bamford is well positioned to help the youngster through the early stages of his Premier League career.

Bielsa said: "Patrick should be viewed as a reference point for Joe as he is someone who can lend him plenty of experience in the role he is playing for the team. 

"He is consulting him of course as a more senior member of the group.

"It may be that when Patrick is fit, I can play both together as they are different or it may be that I select just one of them at any given time. We will see."

Surrounded by a talented network ready to aid his development, Premier League fans could well be watching the formative months of a future superstar.


LeedsPremier LeagueJoe Gelhardt
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play