Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt is on the verge of a return to Championship side Wigan Athletic according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.
Gelhardt has been the subject of a large amount of transfer speculation in recent times with several clubs in the English second-tier – including Swansea City, Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland – reportedly interested in the youngster.
It is Wigan, who Gelhardt left in 2020 to join Leeds, that now appear closest to securing the services of the English youngster on loan for the rest of the season.
The 20-year-old’s appearances for the Whites have been limited this season and will now be reduced even further after the Yorkshire club signed Georginio Rutter over the weekend for a club-record transfer fee of £35m.
Wigan manager Kolo Toure will be hoping the signing of Gelhardt will provide a much-needed boost to his struggling side.
The Latics currently sit bottom of the Championship on 25 points, 4 points away from safety.
Out of all the Championship interest in Gelhardt, it is surprising that he is favouring a move to strugglers Wigan as opposed to more high-flying suitors such as Blackburn.
Perhaps he sees himself getting more minutes at a club fighting relegation rather than chasing promotion. Or, given that he has a previous connection with The Latics, maybe his decision is driven more by sentimental factors.
Gelhardt is a player who delivered several magical moments towards the end of last season but seems to have lost his sparkle a bit this term. He has, admittedly, been handed less game time by Jesse Marsch but even when on the pitch his impact has diminished somewhat.
Let’s hope that getting some minutes under his belt, and potentially even saving Wigan from relegation, will give ‘Joffy’ the confidence he needs to thrive at Elland Road once again.