The young forward only joined for a nominal fee, but his value only continues to rise as he grows as a player.
Leeds United have a habit of picking up or forging their own top youth talent, hence why their squad is currently laden with such rich quality many of whom are 23 or younger.
They certainly have a knack for identifying the next big stars, and in Marcelo Bielsa and Jesse Marsch, they had two managers willing to give most a chance, whether through desperation or a genuine belief that it was deserved.
However, what was particularly surprising was to see young Joe Gelhardt shipped out on loan in January as per the American’s orders, despite Patrick Bamford being the club’s only senior striker alongside Rodrigo, both of whom have suffered with injuries.
Joining Sunderland, it was expected the 20-year-old would continue his development at the Wearside club who were impressing under Tony Mowbray. Whether this was the right move or not remains up for debate, but what is certain is that the young forward is destined for the very top; and to think, Victor Orta snatched him from Wigan Athletic for just £1m.
How much is Joe Gelhardt worth now?
Capitalising on the Latics’ well-known financial struggles, this marked one of the club’s most impressive coups in recent memory as the man branded a “goal machine” by journalist Phil Hay was welcomed to Elland Road.
Having since gone on to feature 41 times for the club already, this outlines the importance he holds in being the future of the club’s goalscoring.
His importance throughout last season was particularly imperative, as his late goal against Norwich City secured three vital points, whilst his late piece of magic to assist against Brighton and Hove Albion earned another valuable point. They escaped the drop by just three points.
There is a reason why writer James Marschment branded him a “special, special talent with ice in his veins.”
With three goal contributions already at the Stadium of Light, he seems poised to translate his fine form to the Championship as he continues to outline himself as a top talent.
As such, his value has unsurprisingly skyrocketed alongside his rise to prominence. Football Transfers rate the apex of his expected Transfer Value at a lofty €11.8m (£10.3m), outlining a huge 930% increase from that tiny aforementioned fee used to acquire him, with Leeds having struck gold by acquiring his services.
Upon the youngster’s return from his loan spell, which is sure to be a success, perhaps Javi Gracia might see the star power that Marsch snubbed and hand him a starting spot in his team.