Noel Whelan is enthused by the prospect of Leeds United acquiring young Celtic defender Leo Hjelde [Football Insider].
The Lowdown: Leeds United get ready for the 2021/22 campaign
Bringing in ready-made first-team talent will be key for Leeds to kick on and look even further up the Premier League table this term, but unearthing starlets with considerable potential may also be high up on Marcelo Bielsa’s priority list.
One prodigy who has been reported as a Whites target has been Norwegian Under-18 international Hjelde, who is in talks about a move to Bielsa’s side – he was previously labelled as ‘the next (Virgil) van Dijk’ by former coach John Hughes [Football Insider].
At 17-years-old, he has already been predisposed to first-team football on loan at Scottish Premiership side Ross County in 2020/21 [Transfermarkt].
Would Hjelde be a good signing for Leeds United?
The Latest: Whelan waxes lyrical over Hjelde’s potential capture
Inspiring Whelan to have his input, the BBC Radio Leeds pundit waxed lyrical over Hjelde’s potential arrival in Yorkshire in an interview with Football Insider, stating:
“When someone is coming out and saying he’s the next Van Dijk, wow, people will take notice.
“The fact that he’s already played first team football at such a young age is a testament to his ability.
“The scouts aren’t just looking abroad at £30million players. In this day and age, you can find some real rough diamonds.”
The Verdict: Hjelde would be an excellent Leeds signing
Pointing to the modern methodologies of recruiting talented youngsters, Whelan makes some credible arguments regarding talent spotting at elite clubs.
In terms of long-term progress, Hjelde could develop into an established Premier League player should an alleged move to Elland Road materialise, even if it takes a while before we see him make a real impact.
Within his temporary stint in the Highlands, the former Rosenborg man made 12 appearances [Transfermarkt], netting a crucial solitary goal for the Staggies in a crunch relegation fixture against Kilmarnock [BBC].
His Celtic future hangs in the balance, owing to the fact he only has 12 months left on his deal at Parkhead [Sportslens].
A rising star, Leeds United will be doing all they can to get the deal over the line, whilst they are said to be confident of landing his signature to boot [Sportslens].
In other news, Leeds United have been linked with a surprise swoop for a 17-goal striker.
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