Leeds United are in “advanced talks” with their very own Golden Boy 2022 nominee, with the club moving towards a resolution to Joe Gelhardt’s contract situation. After 20 appearances and six goal contributions last season, Gelhardt is a key part of the club’s plans for the future.
Joe Gelhardt’s Contract Extension “Shouldn’t Be Long Now.”
What Is Gelhardt’s Current Contract?
Joe Gelhardt’s contract talks with the Peacocks are coming as a result of the player having little time left on his current deal. The young striker’s current deal lasts until 2024. By renewing the deal, Leeds United limit the risk of losing the player for less next summer or releasing him on a free transfer.
The striker’s move to Leeds from Wigan Athletic was relatively affordable for the Yorkshire side. Wigan’s administration saw his sale at a bargain price of approximately £1 million. The Whites now have a focus on retaining the promising forward for the foreseeable future.
What Does the Contract Proposal Look Like?
Graham Smyth of the Yorkshire Evening Post says that Gelhardt is signing a “long-term deal” with the Premier League side. When questioned about why the deal had been taking so long, Smyth pointed to minor details not being completed.
Evidently didn’t get minor details sorted in time to announce before Oz, made no sense to announce while he was in Oz. Shouldn’t be long now.
— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) July 28, 2022
Journalist James Marshment predicts a five-year deal for the 20-year-old striker, with a significant wage increase of 55%.
Leeds United have an interest in retaining their most promising young players following the departure of both Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in this summer window, with each player having two years remaining on their agreements. The club’s focus on long contracts fits with their priority of developing young players.
How Does Gelhardt Fit In?
Joe Gelhardt was an important part of the side that secured a position in the Premier League on the final day of last season, and he looks to retain that position this year. The young forward played 20 times in the Premier League last season, and with minutes in every one of the club’s preseason matches to date, looks to have a secure spot in Jesse Marsch’s plans.
Gelhardt is arguably the second-choice striker currently at Leeds United, behind England-capped Patrick Bamford. With interest in Charles De Ketelaere earlier in the window cooling off thanks to interest from Milan, Gelhardt is set for plenty of minutes this season. The diminutive forward will look to keep exploiting the half-spaces, using his tricky dribbling and explosive shooting to drive the Yorkshire side to safety again.
Is This Part of a Wider Strategy?
The Gelhardt contract talks play a part in a much wider strategy at Leeds. The first part of this strategy is a focus on youth. Retaining fellow youth players such as Crysencio Summerville is a part of the club’s emphasis on youth development, whether for a profit or for a place in the first team.
The Scouse wonderkid’s contract talks also demonstrate the club’s focus on the “Leicester model”. The club first got Gelhardt at a low price, which fits in perfectly with their current ideology. Buy promising players that top teams don’t consider, improve them and sell them for profit.
Raphinha is the perfect example of this, bought for under £20 million in 2020 and sold for almost three times that this summer. With Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Luiz Sinisterra fitting this definition, Gelhardt is one part of a wider effort to increase player value.
🌟 Joe Gelhardt has been named among the nominees for the 2022 Golden Boy award! pic.twitter.com/64zLOhbO4d
— Leeds United (@LUFC) June 15, 2022