The Athletic’s Phil Hay has claimed that Leeds United have Celtic starlet Leo Hjelde on their radar.
Having recently sealed deals for Amari Miller and Lewis Bate, Marcelo Bielsa’s side look keen on reinforcing their academy side even further this summer.
According to Hay, the Whites have their eye on a pair of Celtic starlets, with centre-back Hjelde, and left-back Matthew Anderson on their radar.
Hay adds that “Leeds are persisting in forming a junior pool who, in a number of positions, might realistically succeed members of Bielsa’s current starting line-up.”
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.
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.”
While he may only be 17, Hjelde is clearly someone with a lot of potential, and Hughes has 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 earlier last season, the manager 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 Leeds’ recent signings of Bate and Miller, and that follows on from the business last summer that saw the likes of Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood arrive, fans will no doubt be excited about the future of their club.
Whether Bielsa is still the manager when these players eventually make a name for themselves in the first-team in the years to come remains to be seen, but these long-term based signings ensure that the club is in good hands.