Celtic Pursuing England Youth Star Who Has Been Described As A “Human Wrecking Ball”

Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt is “attracting interest” from Celtic, according to the Daily Mail.

The English tabloid claims that both the Scottish champions and Glasgow rivals Rangers could make a move for the England Under 20 international before the end of the transfer window.

Gelhardt is likely to be available after having barely played since the arrival of manager Daniel Farke. He made a few appearances in the opening weeks of the campaign but he has struggled to even get on the bench recently.

The 21-year-old has already spent some time away from Elland Road over the past year, being sent on loan to Sunderland for the second half of last season.

However, despite being a highly-rated young player, he hasn’t been able to make an impact at first-team level, with just 7 goals to his name since making his senior debut.

Why are Celtic interested in Gelhardt?

Considering his lack of game time, and his unremarkable goal return, it does raise questions about why the Hoops are pursuing the forward.

With both Oh Hyeon-gyu and Daizen Maeda away at the Asian Cup, it may simply be the case that manager Brendan Rodgers wants some short-term cover and Gelhardt could be the solution.

The striker has earned plaudits from many pundits

The Premier League’s all-time leading scorer Alan Shearer has praised Gelhardt, along with former Celtic player Robbie Keane. However, Sky pundit Jamie Redknapp probably gave the best summation of the forward’s style of play. After impressing for Leeds against Tottenham back in 2021, he said:

“He’s like a human wrecking ball. You see him on the pitch, he made a real difference. I like him, he’s really exciting. He’s fast, he’s aggressive, he gets on the ball, takes people on. Once he gets into the box he loves it and where he can cause most of his damage.”

Watch the Fitbaw Talk on Shots!TV here as our pundits discuss the January transfer window

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.