LEEDS manager Marcelo Bielsa has thanked Wigan academy coach Gregor Rioch for the work he did in the development of Joe Gelhardt.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Bielsa called Rioch last week to show his appreciation for the time and effort the Latics dedicated for Gelhardt throughout the years.
The Whites youngster joined the League One outfit's academy in 2013 and trained under the son of former Arsenal boss Bruce Rioch, who helped him rise through the ranks and make his senior debut five years later.
The forward's performances at the DW Stadium caught the eye of the Yorkshire-based club, who signed him last year for a fee in the region of £1million.
The 19-year-old has been on fire at Leeds' Under-23s as he has already registered 17 goals and six assists in 25 matches.
He has also made four appearances for Bielsa's senior squad and has recorded one assist.
The Leeds boss has clearly been blown away by the talent he sees in the youngster.
The England Under-20 international was not the only academy graduate to go that summer as Jensen Weir and Alfie Devine also exited the club.
Weir joined Brighton and Devine moved to Tottenham – their transfers, combined with Gelhardt's departure, cost a total of £2m.
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Wigan chief executive Mal Brannigan insists the sale of those three players "ensured" the club's future.
Brannigan said: “It needs to be recognised that whatever value we got for those players that revenue made sure the football club had a future.
“I think that has to be recognised as a positive – a slightly perverse positive – but nonetheless it ensured we’re sitting here and not talking about a very differently shaped Wigan Athletic.”
Gelhardt made a total of 21 appearances across all competitions at Wigan where he also scored one goal.
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