After the signing of Helder Costa, Jack Harrison, Ben White and Liam McCarron, Leeds United have confirmed the departure of Aapo Halme.
The Finnish defender moved to Elland Road around 18 months ago from HJK Helsinki, the Finnish club who sold Alfredo Morelos to Rangers and helped to develop Teemu Pukki, in the January 2018 window, LeedsUnited.com.
Now, though, the big defender, who scored one goal in his five appearances for the club, has left Elland Road to make the 23-mile trip south to Oakwell for an undisclosed fee (BBC). It marks the fourth player to be sold by Marcelo Bielsa this summer, following Caleb Ekuban (GhanaWeb), Paudie O’Connor (BBC) and Jack Clarke (BBC), although Clarke has returned on-loan.
Considering his involvement, or lack thereof, under Bielsa last season, with the Finnish defender featuring just five times in all competitions in the 2018/19 season, it’s hard to imagine his exit causing too many problems at Elland Road.
Across his 187 minutes, the defender did score his one and only Leeds goal, against QPR in a 2-1 loss against the London side in an FA Cup 3rd round tie (BBC). In his few appearances, though, the defender did receive praise from Bielsa, namely after he was thrown into the mix against Sheffield United after Liam Cooper was withdrawn injured during a 1-0 away win at Bramall Lane (LeedsLive).
Still, the first choice centre-back pairing at Elland Road last season was Pontus Jansson and Cooper, and with Brighton’s White signed on-loan (BBC) ahead of the new season, it looks like Halme had no choice but to leave to strengthen his chances of first-team football.
The defender has become Barnsley’s seventh signing this summer and will be optimistic of trying to keep the League One runners-up in the Championship next season, whilst had he stayed at Leeds he could well have been competing for the title, albeit as the club’s 4th choice central defender.
Frankly, with plenty of defensive options at the club, Halme won’t be missed considering his little impact and time on the pitch.
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