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Leeds must surely regret missing out on Celtic starlet Leo Hjelde

Leeds must surely regret missing out on Celtic starlet Leo Hjelde, amid claims the club “were after him” before he joined.

What’s the story?

The 17-year-old joined fellow Scottish side Ross County on loan, and the club’s boss, John Hughes, has admitted that he could have linked up with Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League instead.

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Who's this goalkeeper...

He said: “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.”

Orta howler

Despite only being 17, the centre-back has quickly established himself as a key part of Ross County’s defence, starting eight out of the last nine games in the Scottish Premiership.

Hughes has also placed a lot of faith in him by using him in multiple positions, including at left-back and further forward in left-midfield.

And, after seeing him score his first professional goal against Kilmarnock last month, Hughes was quick to shower him with praise.

He said: “He found himself out of the team a little bit, then came on there and got his goal. He’s destined for big, big, big things. He won’t be far away from the Celtic first-team when he goes back, but this is what he needs to be doing.”

Given his ability to fill in at both centre-back and left-back in particular, Hjelde would have been hugely useful to Bielsa over these past couple of months where Leeds have badly struggled with injuries defensively.

That priceless versatility, and the fact he seems to have an absolute abundance of potential given Hughes’ comments on him, surely marks this down as being somewhat of a Victor Orta howler.

Meanwhile, Leeds could sign another Stuart Dallas in this ace…

Article title: Leeds must surely regret missing out on Celtic starlet Leo Hjelde

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