Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt has joined Championship side Sunderland on loan for the rest of the 2022/23 season, the club have announced.
A move to the Black Cats appeared in motion after reports emerged yesterday stating that Sunderland led the race to sign Gelhardt – but has now been officially confirmed.
Sunderland are keen to add to their attacking ranks as they chase promotion to the Premier League. They currently sit ninth in the Championship table, one place off the play-off places, with 18 games left to play.
Dubbed ‘Joffy’ by the Elland Road faithful, Gelhardt’s career at Leeds began impressively; the young forward managed to score 11 goals in 16 games for the Under-23s after he was signed from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2020.
He then went on to make his first team debut the season after, producing 2 goals and 2 assists which helped the Whites retain their Premier League status.
These moments of magic – and appearances in general – have been harder to come by for Gelhardt this campaign, with the 20-year-old having only featured once in head coach Jesse Marsch’s starting XI in the Premier League.
In a statement, Leeds wished Gelhardt luck for his time at Sunderland and assured supporters – stressing that the young forward “very much remains part of the club’s long-term plans”.
“With the form of Rodrigo, the return to fitness of Patrick Bamford and the arrival of Georginio Rutter, Gelhardt has now been allowed to make a temporary switch in order to gain regular first team football, but very much remains part of the club’s long-term plans,” the statement read.
“He will now be looking to help Sunderland earn a top six spot in the Championship come the end of the season and we would like to wish Joffy the best of luck during his stay at the Stadium of Light.”