According to Phil Hay, as cited by Kieran Devlin, Leeds United are in talks with Leo Hjelde over a potential move in the summer. The two parties are exploring the possibility of a transfer, with Celtic likely to lose yet another defender. Hjelde’s current contract in Glasgow expires at the end of next season, meaning the youngster is unlikely to cost a fortune either.
Leo Hjelde: One For The Future?
Leo Hjelde has been a part of the Celtic side since 2019 when he joined the club from Rosenborg in his native Norway. It didn’t require much time for him to gain promotion to the club’s senior side, with the Hopes even sanctioning a loan deal to Ross County earlier in January, in order to offer him the opportunity of gaining minutes in top-flight football.
Hjelde didn’t disappoint either, showcasing a lot of potential and even making his professional debut at the age of just 17. In just half a season at the club, the youngster became one of the prime alternatives for the first-choice centre-backs, ending the 2020/21 campaign with a total of three league appearances.
Standing at 1.88, Hjelde turned many heads with not only his physical superiority but also his versatility. Despite being a centre-back by trade, the youngster operated as a left-back or even a left wing-back He can even feature as a holding midfielder if required.
After enjoying a short yet fruitful loan spell at Ross County, Leo Hjelde is almost guaranteed to earn a promotion to the senior side this summer. In fact, he is one of the top candidates to replace Kristoffer Ajer, who has joined Brentford. But with Leeds United expressing interest, it won’t be surprising to see the teenage sensation opting to move to England instead.
How Does He Fit In At Leeds United?
Leeds United are on the hunt for defensive reinforcements despite roping in the likes of Diego Llorente and Robin Koch last summer. It appears Marcelo Bielsa is intent on adding more depth in his defensive depth as his team looks to push for the European places next season.
On that note, Leo Hjelde shouldn’t be a bad option given the potential he has shown at Ross County. The young Norwegian should be an ideal addition to the club’s reserve side that has thrived in recent years, as he joins the large contingent of talented players like Sam Greenwood, Joel Gelhardt as well as the new signings in Lewis Bate, Amari Miller and Sean McGurk.
In many ways, the Celtic youngster can serve as a direct replacement for Oliver Casey, who joined Blackburn in the summer. However, it won’t be surprising to see the 17-year-old being drafted into the first-team fold due to his versatility. Either way, Leo Hjelde will be nothing less than a bargain for Leeds United as they look to continue their smart transfer policy this summer.