Leeds yet to decide on Joe Gelhardt exit with race down to three as Marsch explains how Rutter will fit in

Joe Gelhardt, Leeds United Credit: Alamy
Joe Gelhardt, Leeds United Credit: Alamy

Jesse Marsch is looking forward to welcoming Georginio Rutter into the fold following his move from Hoffenheim – and the Leeds United manager has also explained how the Frenchman’s arrival could impact upon Joe Gelhardt.

The Whites have acted quickly and decisively this month to month to strengthen their squad as they prepare for the second half of the season. Currently in 14th place, just two points separate Leeds to the foot of the Premier League table.

The club have rolled the dice on strengthening their squad this month – something that failed to do last January – in order to maximise their survival prospects. Having already brought in left-sided defender in Maximilian Wober, Leeds have since broken their transfer record to sign Rutter.

The French Under-21 international arrives at Elland Road as something of an unknown quantity. This feature tells you all you need to know about Leeds’ new club-record arrival.

Scoring goals, though, has not really been an issue at Leeds this season. Rodrigo Moreno is among the Premier League’s top scorers with 10 goals in 17 appearances. There have also been notable contributions from Crysensio Summerville too, while Willy Gnonto also poses a considerable threat.

Marsch on Rutter and Leeds attack options

Quite where Rutter fits into the equation remains to be seen. However, Marsch is grateful to the board for sanctioning his signing and is looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Marsch, though, insists that Rutter won’t be affected by his costly price tag.

“We spoke about it before he got here,” he said. “He knows what the project was. We can see he’s energetic, young. He is naturally brave and excited about the potential to be a high-level footballer. He knows the players I have coached in the past; some high potential players. He also knows Illan [Meslier – from France U21s].

“I have enjoyed the chance to have football conversations with him. Tactically and to get to know him in that way. He’s always been very engaging. Wth the team [Hoffenheim], he had to learn more German than English, but that’s good enough and it’ll come after being here.”

Leeds now have an array of attacking options with Rutter joining Rodrigo, Gnonto, Summerville, Jack Harrison, Luis Sinisterra, Patrick Bamford and Brenden Aaronson as attacking players.

Beyond that, they also have the likes of Gelhardt, Sonny Perkins and Matteo Joseph coming through the ranks.

Asked how he can fit them all in, Marsch added: “This is what managers want. It’s one of the reasons I was a proponent of the five subs rule. We want an arsenal of options. Use them effectively match after match after match.”

Decision yet to be made on Joe Gelhardt transfer

Following Rutter’s arrival, speculation has grown that Leeds could let Gelhardt leave on loan.

Three Championship sides are reportedly keen on his services with Blackburn, Swansea and Sunderland leading the chase. Interest has also been expressed by his former side Wigan, though they are no longer thought to be in the running.

Indeed, director of football Victor Orta reportedly favours sending Gelhardt to Swansea. Admiring the football they play under Russell Martin, it’s felt the move to south Wales would be most beneficial for his development.

However, Marsch insists nothing has been decided yet on Gelhardt’s future.

“We’re holding internal discussions and we will make some decisions,” he said on Gelhardt. “Everyone is open to different possibilities.

“We have a lot of good attacking options. Luis said to me after training, ‘wow we have some good players now’. Luis is one of them. Joffy has looked great. He has a fantastic attitude.”

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