Leeds United have completed the signing of Joe Gelhardt from Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee.
A prolific prodigy
Gelhardt, 18, who developed through Wigan's academy since joining the club in 2013, made his senior debut for the Latics during an EFL Cup match against Rotherham United aged 16 in August 2018.
At the end of the same season, "Joffy" made his Championship debut for the Latics during a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City.
Last season (2019-20) was the breakthrough season for Gelhardt. The England youth international featured 19 times as his former team were relegated due to a 12-point deduction for entering administration.
Farewell from the Latics
Wishing Joffy well in his move to the Yorkshire club was Latics' head of Academy Gregor Rioch, who alongside many other coaches at the academy played an important role in his development.
“Joffy has given us many special memories since he joined Wigan Athletic at the age of 10,” Rioch said.
“He is an incredible talent and we’ve seen so many great performances and exciting moments from him.
“It was an absolute pleasure to watch him develop on Sunday mornings as a schoolboy; we’d travel all over the country and if you needed any extra motivation to do that, knowing Joffy was likely to come up with something special certainly provided it.
“I remember him scoring ten goals in one game, many hat-tricks and also five against Manchester United at The Cliff – he’s such a special talent." Rioch added.
Rioch also thanked Gelhardt's parents for their continued support to both Joe and himself.
“I would like to thank Joe’s parents for their continued support to the academy over the years; Joe’s Mum, Lynne, has really epitomised the dedication and commitment required in supporting her son throughout the academy journey," he added.
“Whilst this is a sad day in many ways for us as Joffy moves on after seven years at the club, it is also a proud one for many staff at the academy – including head of academy recruitment Kenny Williams – who brought Joffy to Wigan Athletic at the age of 10.
“We always know the roadmap for the players we develop for the first team may then see them move on to another level and in Joe’s case he is joining a fantastic Premier League club in Leeds United. Joe leaves with our best wishes for a successful career.”