Jamie Carragher has revealed that he rates young Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt very highly.
The 19-year-old Leeds forward has started to make a name for himself at Elland Road.
His performances for the club’s Under-23 side last season had Marcelo Bielsa watching closely. Gelhardt, who signed from Wigan in the summer of 2020, scored 17 goals in 22 league games for Leeds’ youngsters.
His form has led to a chance in the first team. Gelhardt made his Leeds first-team debut in the EFL Cup clash with Fulham in September. And he managed to convert his penalty in the Whites’ penalty shoot-out win.
His recognition has gone further with a first call up to England’s Under 21s squad for their October UEFA Championship qualifiers with Slovenia and Andorra.
It’s clear that Carragher is well aware of Gelhardt, probably because his soon James is with Wigan.
James Carragher, 18, signed his first professional contract with Wigan Athletic in August and Carragher has probably seen Gelhardt developing with the League One side.
Responding to a tweet linking to piece about Gelhardt, the Sky Sports pundit described the Scouser as a “brilliant young player”.
Brilliant young player 👌🏻
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 6, 2021
Elsewhere, Leeds winger Raphinha has spoken of his pride as his full international debut for Brazil looms.
‘Complicated’ Brazil debut for Raphinha
The 24-year-old has made a big impact at Elland Road after arriving from Rennes for £17m in the summer of 2020.
In 38 appearances for Leeds, he has nine goals and nine assists and now Brazil have come knocking.
His call up has not been straight forward though. Complications last month over coronavirus restrictions put a temporary hold on that chance.
“It was very complicated, I was very frustrated,” Raphinha said.
“It was my first call, I was really looking forward to coming and showing my work.
“Of course I hoped to come until the last moment. I kept in touch with Juninho, the committee staff as well, talking to the club staff to see if somehow this could be resolved. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. These were government and country issues, which were not for us to resolve.
“What I could do was keep my head on straight, keep working. I knew that in a few weeks I was going to have another call up.
“So I could only keep focused, my head clear to keep working to have another opportunity. Then I waited for the moment to celebrate again.”