According to former England striker Kevin Phillips, in conversation with Football Insider, Leeds United should only be really thinking about one thing when it comes to how to utilise soon-to-be-announced capture Joe Gelhardt.

Youngster Gelhardt is ready to be unveiled as Leeds United’s third summer capture, the Whites landing him ahead of the likes of Celtic, Rangers and a host of other interest clubs.

The Liverpool-born youngster has been on the Latics books from a young age but, with needs outranking musts due to being administration, Wigan have had to sell one of their prized assets. Gelhardt is exactly that, the 18-year-old enjoying his exposure to the Wigan first-team.

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Since the leap forward to the first-team set-up, Gelhardt made 18 appearances in this season’s Sky Bet Championship campaign, scoring 1 goal. He is seen as a player with exceptional potential, something that Leeds Uinted will be keen to hone.

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In conversation with Football Insider, former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips knows just what the Whites need to do to ensure this. He says that the West Yorkshire side really have little choice. For Phillips, Leeds United must loan out Gelhardt with him saying:

If he is not going to be involved week in, week out I would like to see him go out on loan. Get that experience and learn the game. Then when he comes back to Leeds he will be a better player.”

He then continues by discussing the type of loan that would benefit both Leeds United and Gelhardt’s development. Phillips adds:

I would fully expect the young lad to be loaned out. Whether that be for six months or a year. Until the New Year might be a better option.

View from The72 – loan out is the best thing for all

What Kevin Phillips is saying makes good sense. It is unlikely that Marcelo Bielsa will throw Gelhardt into the Premier League cauldron like a Biblical Christian thrown to the lions. A half-season out on loan to, say a Championship side, would allow the England Under-18 striker to build up that first-team experience that will allow him to develop into a better, all-round player.

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Should Leeds United be thinking of integrating Joe Gelhardt into Premier League football or loaning him out?

Integrate him.

Baptism of fire.

Loan him out.

Slow and steady development.