Transfer saga: As Celtic and Rangers are now competing for the signature of a ballon d’or winner…

As Celtic and Rangers circle Joe Gelhardt, Leeds United must ensure one condition is met: View

It is quite difficult to envisage the ace being afforded many playing minutes at a title contender in the Scottish Premiership.

Joe Gelhardt: Terms of new deal revealed with Leeds announcement imminent  and talks on extension for second young star also underway

Leeds United youngster Joe Gelhardt is widely regarded as an exciting prospect within the EFL, but a lack of game-time could mean that the 21-year-old departs Elland Road this January.

This season, the starlet has featured in just six Championship matches, and he started on just two of these occasions, so arguably the forward would be best off if manager Daniel Farke chose to offload him on loan.

Gelhardt is a young player with bags of talent, so it is understandable that the Whites may be reluctant to let him leave the club on a permanent basis just yet, but there is not much point in keeping him at Elland Road if he is not going to get the playing minutes he deserves.

Exclusive: Leeds reject Ipswich Town offer for Joe Gelhardt as forward is  given firm Farke message

Scottish Premiership giants Celtic and Rangers are reportedly interested in Gelhardt, and while the Whites are likely to have a quieter transfer window in January than that of last summer, a departure could be on the cards here.

Leeds United – 2023/24 Departures
Player Name Signed For Loan/Permanent
Tyler Adams AFC Bournemouth Permanent (fee involved)
Rodrigo Moreno Al-Rayyan Permanent (fee involved)
Robin Koch E. Frankfurt Loan
Max Wober Borussia Monchengladbach Loan
Tyler Roberts Birmingham City Permanent
Adam Forshaw Norwich City Permanent
Joel Robles Al-Qadsiah Permanent
Brendan Aaronson Union Berlin Loan
Jack Harrison Everton Loan
Luis Sinisterra AFC Bournemouth Loan (option-to-buy)
Rasmus Kristensen AS Roma Loan
Marc Roca Real Betis Loan
Sam Greenwood Middlesbrough Loan
Cody Drameh Birmingham City Loan (option-to-buy)
Sonny Perkins Oxford United Loan
Weston McKennie Juventus End of Loan

The condition the Whites should demand of Gelhardt’s suitors

Farke and co should only let Gelhardt leave on loan if the club he is joining are able to give him regular playing time, otherwise there is no point in letting the starlet depart Yorkshire where he is at least training with his teammates and learning Farke’s methods.

Given that the Whites are currently struggling to offer Gelhardt much time on the pitch in the Championship promotion battle, it is quite difficult to envisage the ace being afforded many playing minutes at a title contender in the Scottish Premiership.

Both Rangers and Celtic have talented attackers in their squad, so it would not be easy for Gelhardt to make an instant breakthrough into the first team squad of whichever of the Glasgow giants he joined, should a deal be completed.

The current problem Gelhardt is encountering in his career is that his current club are not giving him as many minutes as he would like to be playing, and things would only get worse if he moved to a new club on loan, and experienced the same fate.

Gelhardt call won’t be easy for Farke

The decision Whites boss Farke must make regarding Gelhardt this window is the toughest decision in terms of personnel the former Norwich manager has to make in his tenure at Elland Road so far.

The 21-year-old’s talent is blatant, but there is currently no room for him in a free-scoring Whites team who look on course to comfortably secure a play-off spot, and could even gain automatic promotion in the event of slip-ups from both Ipswich and Southampton.

It is never easy for a new player to break into a title-challenging team, so this could put Farke off the idea of sending the starlet north of the border to one of the Glasgow giants, meanwhile it could be a big error to offload the youngster to a play-off rival such as Hull City, who he has been linked with.

Farke has a tough call to make here, and the worst case scenario is that Gelhardt joins a play-off rival such as Hull and, in doing so, could ironically de-rail his parent club’s play-off push, whereas a move to one of the Scottish giants is unlikely to provide the youngster with some much-needed playing time.

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