This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player view’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…
For many footballers, the opportunity to move to a club such as Liverpool or Chelsea would surely be a no-brainer.
On the face of it, making a move to somewhere such as Anfield or Stamford Bridge would give whoever it may be the chance to represent one of the biggest clubs on the planet, playing against some of the biggest names in the game for some of the biggest prizes in world football.
For some however, the decision to make that move may not be quite so simple.
One person who arguably finds himself in that position is Wigan Athletic’s Joe Gelhardt.
At just 17-year-of-age, recent reports are already linking the attacking midfielder with a move to Liverpool, while Chelsea are among a long list of other Premier League clubs – including Everton, Wolves and Leicester City – who are also said to be interested in Gelhradt.
You would imagine therefore, that the teenager would be desperate to take this opportunity to make the move up to the top flight, although when you look further into the situation surrounding Gelhardt however, that may not quite be the case.
Right now, Gelhardt is enjoying his first period breaking into the first team at Wigan. After making his senior debut for the club towards the back end of last season, the 17-year-old enjoyed an impressive pre-season for the Latics, and has now featured twice more for Paul Cook’s side in the coming campaign.
Indeed, it was an impressive performance off the bench in Wigan’s last game before the international break – a 0-0 draw at home to newly-promoted Barnsley – that may have Gelhardt feeling he has the chance now to push on and make a name for himself in the Latics’ senior side.
By contrast, a move to Liverpool is unlikely to see him get those opportunities any time soon.
Indeed, it has been suggested in those aforementioned reports, that a move to Liverpool would see him placed into the club’s Under 23s side, in order to fill gap left by the recent departure of Bobby Duncan.
As a result, there may well be questions in the back of Gelhardt’s mind as to whether he may for now be better suited to remaining at Wigan, in order to enhance his development further through the experience of first-team football, particularly when you look at the struggles players even with the quality of the likes of Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent have had in breaking into the senior side at Anfield.
Of course, one additional doubt that there may be in Gelhardt’s mind about taking that approach is Wigan’s current Championship position.
Following their opening day win over Cardiff City, the Latics have picked up just one more point – in that stalemate with Barnsley – this season and currently lie 22nd in the early Championship standings.
If that does not improve, then remaining at The DW Stadium could see Gelhardt drop into League One, and he is unlikely to want to drop to that level, given it may make it more difficult for him to secure a move to a side such as the ones currently linked with him at some point in the future.
It seems therefore, that a move for Gelhardt from Liverpool or Chelsea could leave the winger with a difficult decision to make, and it should not be one that he does so lightly.
Whatever happens however, with Gelhardt already breaking into a Championship first-team at the age of 17 and a number of Premier League clubs linked with his signature, the teenager should at least, be brimming with confidence when it comes to his ability.