Phil Hay has written in his latest Athletic piece that Leeds United attacker Joe Gelhardt is likely to go out on loan again this summer if the Whites avoid relegation to the Championship – but, going down will “change everything”.

Gelhardt, 20, has endured a tough time on loan at Sunderland. Joining the club on the premise that he was going to play as a support striker with Scotland star Ross Stewart – Gelhardt was excited. But, Stewart suffered an injury.

The talismanic striker ruptured his achilles. Out for the rest of the season, days after Gelhardt moved to Wearside – where Hay says he is renting a house from Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. Forced to play as a lone striker.

Clocking up 15 outings for Sunderland, the England U21 man has had a hand in five goals – but scored only three. That third came in the week during a 1-1 draw with Neil Warnock’s Huddersfield. He has hardly set the world alight.

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Phil Hay says Leeds attacker Joe Gelhardt likely to go out on loan again

But, as Hay says, his time at Sunderland has been derailed by Stewart’s injury. He has had to play as a lone striker against bigger, stronger Championship centre-backs. Hay gave an update on where Gelhardt’s future actually lies.

Clearly, he is not going to break past the current options at Leeds judging by his form at the Stadium of Light. Hay says the plan is to send him on loan again if Leeds do stay up. But, if Leeds go down – then Hay says it changes.

Hay writes that relegation “might change everything”. Leeds may have to keep Gelhardt and look to him as an option in attack as the Whites try to bounce back at the first attempt. It would shake everything up. So, it is up in the air.

Sunderland v Huddersfeild Town - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Martin Swinney/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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