Joe Gelhardt: England and Wigan Athletic’s academy prospect

The future of academy football in England is looking bright with several young talents catching the eye. One in particular is Wigan Athletic’s Joe Gelhardt.

The 17-year-old England youth international made his professional debut for Latics on August 2018, coming on as a substitute against Rotherham United in the EFL Cup.

The exciting attacker has since become a fan favourite, scoring his first professional goal against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. It was a day to remember for Gelhardt, nine months after he netted a hat-trick at the same ground in the FA Youth Cup against Hull City Under 18’s, helping his team to a triumphant 6-2 victory.

Image result for joe gelhardt hull city
Delight: Substitute Joe Gelhardt is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the equaliser.

Gelhardt has been capped several times for England at youth international level, scoring six times for Under 17’s, playing a crucial part in England’s seven-match winning streak leading into the 2019 Under 17’s European Championships.

The versatile forward continues to cause selection headaches for first team manager Paul Cook, with two goals against Liverpool Under 23’s in the Premier League Cup group stage last week.

Despite interest from Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United, Gelhardt will be hoping to continue his fine form after the academy prospect penned a new three-year deal with the club until 2021, and remains a perfect example of the development at Wigan Athletic’s academy.