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Danny Bloomer

Leeds United news as key youngster confirms fitness and Illan Meslier role assessed

Here are the latest Leeds United morning headlines on Friday, April 15.

Gelhardt fitness

Injuries may have hampered Joe Gelhardt’s season just like so many of his Leeds United team-mates, but at long last, he feels fully fit and ready for this run-in. Jesse Marsch has repeatedly talked up Gelhardt’s claims to a start, but injuries, knocks and one false-positive Covid result have scotched the teenager’s training regime.

Every week it has felt like there has been a new issue coming between the striker and the top-flight minutes he so craves, but with a chance of more under-23 minutes tomorrow, Gelhardt is very much eyeing up Crystal Palace a week on Monday. In the continued absence of Patrick Bamford, Gelhardt’s under-23 brilliance and quality senior cameos have lined him up as the best alternative.

It’s a topic Marsch has been unafraid to address. There was the back spasm after his Norwich City heroics which ended his scheduled start at Molineux, before the false positive which ruined his preparation for Southampton and then a dead leg with the under-23s killed his chances for Watford.

READ MORE: Leeds United's relegated transfer interests, Raphinha contingencies and Kalvin Phillips's contract

He said: “I’ve just been getting a few knocks recently when I’ve been playing so I had a dead leg, I had a dead hamstring, I got kicked, [out for] a few days, but I’m fine now. I’m in full training now.”

Read more from Beren Cross’ interview with Gelhardt here.

Meslier role

Quarterback is considered one of the most important and highly pressured roles in world sport, but that responsibility is exactly what Jesse Marsch wants from Illan Meslier with Leeds United. The Whites have conceded eight goals in the six matches Marsch has overseen, but recorded their first clean sheet since late November on Saturday.

Meslier generates a lot of interest as one of the youngest stoppers playing regularly in Europe’s biggest five leagues and with his peak not expected for another 10 years, there is a frighteningly talented prospect on United’s hands. After an encouraging series of performances in his first Premier League season, Meslier has felt the pressure a little more at times in this campaign, underlined by statistics which suggest he perhaps should have stopped more goals than he has in 21/22.

Read more here.

BWP’s Marsch advice

Former New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips believes Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch will face a tougher time with the media due to being American. Marsch became just the third American ever to manage in the Premier League when he was appointed at Leeds, following in the footsteps of Bob Bradley and David Wagner.

Wright-Phillips spent the best part of his career at New York Red Bulls under the management of Marsch, becoming the club’s record goal scorer. In an interview with, Wright-Phillips claimed that Marsch will have to do that little bit more to prove himself due to the fact he is American, but is expecting him to pass that test with flying colours.

He said: “They are unfairly tough on Americans; they disrespect MLS a bit. It just takes time. They’re going to have their little jokes. But me knowing Jesse, I don’t think it bothers him very much. If they’re going to try to wind him, they’ve got to be prepared to take what comes back.”

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