Wigan Athletic boss unfazed over Joe Gelhardt 'interest'

Joe Gelhardt
Joe Gelhardt

Paul Cook will not be losing any sleep over the rumoured Premier League interest in Wigan Athletic wonderkid Joe Gelhardt.

The 17-year-old forward – currently away on international duty with the England Under-18 side – has yet to make his first senior start for Latics, with his three appearances off the bench totalling only 84 minutes.

But his exploits at junior level – and now on the international stage with the Young Lions – have led to reports of strong interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton among others.

Not that the Latics manager, who fast-tracked Gelhardt into his senior squad at the start of the season, is too worried about the situation.

“If you look around all football clubs these days, players move on, they come and go,” Cook told the Wigan Post.

“If Joffy (Gelhardt) keeps progressing at the rate he has been...will he be at Wigan Athletic for the next 10 years? I very much doubt he will!

“This is the game today. But I genuinely know, from the chairman all the way down, we are not looking to sell players like that.

“We want to grow this club, and enhance it to its full potential.

“What is that full potential? Well that’s what we’re trying to find out.

“When teams are doing well, normally their players are coveted by other club.

“You’ve seen that in recent years, with the likes of Nick Powell and Dan Burn.

“But for any talented young player in the Championship, 17 years of age like Joffy, the reality is other clubs will be looking at you.

“We’re just in a fortunate position that our Academy is making some very good young men, as well as some very good young players.”