Ross County boss John Hughes has recently revealed that Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde attracted interest from Leeds United.
Hjelde, who was loaned out to Ross County by Celtic in the summer, had arrived at Parkhead back in 2019 from Rosenborg. He plied his trade with the Celtic youth side and is of course expected back at Parkhead this summer.
Is Hjelde a future Ajer replacement?
Hjelde hailed by Ross County boss Hughes
In a recent interview, Hughes has hailed young Hjelde and he said that the 17-year-old will play in the Premier League.
Hughes made it clear that while Hjelde has a lot of learning to do, Leeds were looking to sign him before he joined Ross County on the loan deal.
Hughes described himself to be a bit of a Celtic man, saying that he’d want the youngster to play for Celtic and become a regular for the Bhoys in the future.
He said: “I 100% believe he will reach the Premier League. Leo is going to be the next Virgil Van Dijk, trust me on that, trust me. He has got a lot to learn but for being a young kid, to come on loan during Covid in this climate, what he’s produced has been absolutely fantastic.
“He has still got a lot of learning but before he came here Leeds United were after him. I think he signed an extension to his Celtic contract for this loan to go through. He is going to be a centre-back but he can play left-back.
“I am a wee bit of a Celtic man and I would love to see him make his debut for Glasgow Celtic and become a regular. I would love nothing more than to go along to Parkhead and see Leo run out there.”
High praise for Hjelde comes at the right time
That is a promising sign for Celtic. To earn rave reviews at a young age can certainly help him build up his confidence and with Kristoffer Ajer being linked with a Parkhead exit, Hjelde could perhaps prove to be his compatriot’s natural successor in the future.
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