Sunday, October 2, 2022

Leeds United Eye Finnish Starlet Likened To ‘Sami Hyppia’: A Smart Find By Chirstiansen?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Leeds United have had a mixed start to their Championship season. Life under Thomas Christiansen’s tutelage seemed to be pretty normal as the Whites were looking unstoppable at one time when they were on a seven-match unbeaten run.

But recently, the equations have changed drastically and they have lost their last two matches. The gaffer has already planned some more reinforcements in this January when the winter transfer window will open and according to reports, The Championship club are interested in HJK Helsinki’s Aapo Halme.

The 19-year old’s rise to prominence has been extraordinary and his excellence on the football pitch has alerted a number of clubs. The youngster plays at the heart of the defence and at this tender age, has established himself pretty comfortably at the club.

The 19-year-old has featured in 19 matches this season and has netted a goal. He represents the Finland U-21 national side and standing at six feet eight inches, he has drawn parallels with Sami Hyypia. Hyypia is known for his heroics for Liverpool and also used to play in the same position.

Mathew Pennington arrived at the Elland Road this summer but only on a loan deal. The Everton defender has had an on-off start in the Championship but has shown the promise what the gaffer has been craving for.

Also, there is Conor Shaughnessy who has gone through various levels at the club and now has been a regular for the senior side. The Whites are pretty well stocked in the defensive department but Pennington’s future has created an uncanny situation and Christiansen doesn’t want to take the risk.

Leeds have been very lucky with the players’ scouting as most of who they brought in have settled well in the Championship and the gaffer wants to go with the flow.

The Whites failed to grab a playoff spot last season as they fell to the sixth position following some late fall of form. This season, they are pretty determined to defy all the odds and the intent is pretty clear.

The likes of Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper are unlikely to leave the club in near future as they have a pretty hefty deal at the Elland Road but the need of a central defender might arise if Pennington fails to impress the gaffer at the end of this season.

A formal offer is in the offing when the transfer window resumes. But can Aapo Halme impress in the Championship?

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