Leeds told ‘surprise package’ will be ‘massive miss’ after latest forward injury

Joe Gelhardt Leeds

Leeds have been told the absence of young forward Joe Gelhardt will be a ‘massive miss’ in the next few matches.

Leeds have been badly affected by injuries this campaign, with key players Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips spending plenty of time off the pitch. Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk are also out as things stand.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have missed Bamford’s goals hugely. He hit 17 last term while appearing in all 38 of their Premier League matches.

The one-time England international returned from an ankle injury in December, only to pick up a hamstring issue in his first game back. However, he could feature in Sunday’s game against West Ham alongside fellow returnee Rodrigo.

The recent attacking shortfall has resulted in 19-year-old Gelhardt being given numerous chances to impress.

He has done just that, scoring one goal and laying on three more for his team-mates.

But Gelhardt will be out for ‘three or four weeks’, according to his manager, after colliding with another player in training.

Reacting to the club’s latest setback, former Leeds man Noel Whelan said: “This is huge. He’ll be a massive miss for Leeds because he’s playing with no fear. He’s a player who can really drive and take the game to opposition defensives.

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“We’ve seen him do it a couple of times before, winning penalties at important times through really positive running.

“He’s a player that the opposition don’t know too much about, as well. He’s been a real surprise package for us.

“We’re lacking options when it comes to that central figure leading the line, especially with Bamford also out yet again. We’re down to the bare bones.”

Leeds travel to West Ham on Sunday before hosting Newcastle at Elland Road the following weekend.

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Gelhardt team-mate set for Cardiff City medical

Meanwhile, young Leeds right-back Cody Drameh is preparing to have a medical ahead of his loan move to Cardiff.

Bielsa was hoping to keep Drameh around as a backup option but the player and his agent believe a temporary spell elsewhere will serve him better.

Nottingham Forest are admirers but Steve Cooper’s side have seemingly been beaten to his signature.

Football Insider report Drameh will undergo a medical today. Should he pass, then the 20-year-old will spend the rest of the campaign at Cardiff.

Drameh has made three league appearances this term. His most recent outing came in Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to West Ham.

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