Alex Bruce Tips Celtic Target To Have A Bright Future: Scouting Wigan Starlet Joe Gelhardt

Celtic Are Interested In Wigan Athletic's Joe Gelhardt - Gelhardt races away
CHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Joe Gelhardt of Wigan Athletic controls the ball during the FA Youth Cup match between Liverpool and Wigan Athletic at Swansway Stadium on February 13, 2019 in Chester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Football Insider, Premiership giants Celtic have been urged to move for Wigan Athletic starlet Joe Gelhardt in the summer, thereby claiming that he could prove to be an excellent prospect for the near future.

The former Kilmarnock man conceded that the youngster has massive talent, and even claimed that he was thoroughly impressed with the Wigan ace’s performance when they trained together for the Latics. Although the English side had a £5m price-tag placed on the forward’s head, their recent financial situation could prompt the sale to go down at a much more deflated rate.

Although it has been clarified that Celtic are interested in Wigan Athletic’s Joe Gelhardt, whether or not he’d be a good fit at Parkhead remains to be seen. Speaking on the matter, Bruce said, “Celtic is obviously a massive club so it’s enough for anybody to think about when a club like Celtic comes in for you. I played with Joe at Wigan when he was a young kid coming through and he’s an outstanding prospect, I have to say. He’s a tenacious young centre-forward and he’s a good finisher as well. He’s got a bright future ahead of him, that’s for sure. I know people at Wigan have high hopes for him. He’ll be a good signing for someone because he’s got an exciting future and he’s got good attributes.”

How Has Joe Gelhardt Made A Name For Himself?

The youngster was born a Liverpudlian but wasn’t able to secure trials at the two giant Merseyside clubs, Liverpool and Everton. Instead, the forward’s initial days were spent at the Wigan Athletic academy. The Englishman joined the club as a young lad back in the summer of 2013, and over the course of a six-year spell with the youth system, he impressed multiple key names within the club. He spent just one year with Wigan’s reserve squad in 2018, which is when he made his full debut for the DW Stadium club, before being promoted to the first-team squad permanently ahead of the 19/20 campaign.

Celtic Are Interested In Wigan Athletic's Joe Gelhardt - Gelhardt carrying the ball
WIGAN, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Joe Gelhardt of Wigan Athletic takes on Dael Fry of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough at DW Stadium on February 11, 2020 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

What Makes Joe Gelhardt A Good Option For Celtic?

The 18-year-old has been the talk of the town around Wigan Athletic for a while now and with good reason. As has been conceded by Alex Bruce, Gelhardt does look to be an excellent finisher of the ball, and those striking attributes are only going to improve upon finding a potential move to Glasgow. The youngster tends to time his runs into space to intuitive perfection, while he can also be deceptively quick with the ball at his feet. Despite being just a teenager, the Liverpool native boasts a decent amount of upper-body strength, and having spent his entire career so far in England, is well-aware of the physical demands of the game in this country too.

As good as the forward is inside the box, Gelhardt also offers himself as an extra man while the Wigan team builds from the back. Not afraid to drop deep to try and involve himself and make things happen, the youngster also boasts a good work-ethic when out of possession. Having broken into the first-team during the 18/19 campaign, last season saw the youngster having a much bigger involvement in proceedings. The attacker played in a total of 17 league fixtures for the Championship club, a period during which he notched up a goal as well. Although those numbers might seem underwhelming on paper, it’s worth considering that he has been competing with the likes of Kieffer Moore for the striking spot.

Celtic Are Interested In Wigan Athletic’s Joe Gelhardt: Should Lennon Sign Him Up?

As long as the saga surrounding the potential departure of Odsonne Edouard from Parkhead ticks on, the Celts are likely to remain on the lookout for additional striking options. One thing that Lennon would’ve learnt from their pre-season friendlies is that Patryk Klimala is perfectly capable of playing second fiddle. With Leigh Griffiths available as a back-up as well, there isn’t necessarily an immediate need to bring in another striker. With that said though, Edouard’s future is still very much up in the air, and if he does end up choosing to go, then moving for Gelhardt might not be the worst idea from a Celtic perspective.

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