Leeds United missed out on the opportunity to sign a youngster compared to Virgil van Dijk, according to his current team’s manager.
The Whites are preparing for next Monday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Elland Road, as they look to kick on from their stunning 2-1 win away to Manchester City.
Away from the pitch, Leeds continue to be linked with a host of players, as Marcelo Bielsa’s looks at potentially bringing in some new faces this summer.
Leeds attempted to sign Van Dijk-like youngster
They appear to have missed out on signing one individual with huge potential, however – Celtic teenager Leo Hjelde.
The 17-year-old Norwegian is currently on loan at Ross County from the Scottish giants, in order to enjoy more regular playing time than he would be given at Parkhead.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Staggies’ current manager John Hughes confirmed ‘Leeds United were after him’ and compared him to Liverpool colossus and world-renowned star Van Dijk:
“Leo is going to be the next Van Dijk – trust me on that.
“The quality he has shown, the physical challenge, playing real men’s football and standing up to it – it’s been a wonderful experience for Leo.
“Before he came, Leeds United were after him. I think he had to sign an extension to his contract for the loan to go through.”
Transfer Tavern take
It is always disappointing to miss out on exceptional young talent, but Hjelde is a player Leeds could potentially come back in for further down the line, with Hughes labelling him “absolutely fantastic“.
He is still so young that he has many years ahead of him to develop, so Bielsa could possibly play the long game with him and monitor his progress from afar.
It is easy to forget that Van Dijk himself didn’t move to England until he was 24, so Hjelde certainly isn’t up against the clock.
In other news, Leeds are believed to be interested in a player with 25 international caps to his name. Find out who it is here.
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