Leeds Utd transfer news: Destination chosen for highly-rated attacker’s exit, with dates for medical and debut revealed
Joe Gelhardt is on the verge of leaving Leeds United on loan for the rest of the season after various outlets reported his next destination.
Leeds have high hopes for Gelhardt, whom they signed from Wigan Athletic in 2020. The 20-year-old has since amassed 41 appearances for the Whites, scoring twice. He has also provided seven assists.
This season, Jesse Marsch has given Gelhardt 19 appearances, seeing him return three assists. However, there is a recognition that the attacker might need to spend time developing elsewhere to give himself the best chance of fulfilling his potential.
Indeed, Leeds have just brought in Georginio Rutter in a club-record transfer to add competition up front. They also have the likes of Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo Moreno and Wilfried Gnonto as attacking options.
Therefore, Gelhardt’s pathway to regular first-team football is somewhat blocked at present. Of his 15 Premier League appearances this season, only one has been a start.
Leeds have consequently been assessing where they might be able to send the Liverpudlian on loan for the rest of the season. Recently, there was talk of him returning to Wigan, but that has fallen out of the equation.
Indeed, Gelhardt is now on the verge of a different Championship move. It has been reported by Sky Sports and The Athletic that he is due to sign for Sunderland on a six-month loan deal.
Sky reporter Keith Downie has described a deal as being “agreed”. In the process, Sunderland have beaten competition from another of other suitors from the Championship.
For example, The Athletic‘s report – by Leeds expert Phil Hay – reminds that Blackburn Rovers were keen to take Gelhardt to the second tier too.
But both sources are now confirming that a medical is planned for Gelhardt at Sunderland tomorrow (Friday).
Gelhardt given debut timeline
Hay concludes that Gelhardt could make his debut for Sunderland on February 4 when they visit Millwall. He will not be able to feature in their more imminent FA Cup clash with Fulham on Saturday.
Sunderland – who recently saw striker Ellis Simms recalled by Everton after his own loan spell – are currently ninth in the Championship table, but are only one point off the play-off places. The dream target would be to secure a second consecutive promotion and finally get back in the Premier League.
Hence, there is an exciting project for Gelhardt to get involved with. Indeed, Downie claims the prospect has been lured in by Sunderland’s “vision as a club”.
That said, his stay at the Stadium of Light will still only be a temporary one. Hay has confirmed there will be no option for the Black Cats to buy Gelhardt at the end of his loan spell.
Beyond then, he remains under contract at Elland Road until 2027.
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