Ross County have played a big part in Leo Hjelde’s development – now the Norwegian teenager has joined English Premier League club Leeds United.

The 18-year-old spent the second half of last season at the Scottish Premiership side and was compared to £75 million Dutch centre-back Virgil Van Dijk by then-manager John Hughes. Being called the ‘next Van Dijk’ was high praise and Leeds United have held an interest since 2020. Now they have their man.

Rangers v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Hjelde has joined Leeds United. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A centre-back capable of playing left-back, Hjelde has signed a four-year deal with Leeds after his Ross County loan. He was contracted to Celtic.

“A statement reads: “Leeds United are pleased to announce the signing of Leo Hjelde. Hjelde celebrated his 18th birthday this week, by signing a four-year-deal at Elland Road, running until the summer of 2025.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

“The defender last season spent time on loan from Celtic at fellow Scottish Premiership side Ross County, completing a move in the January transfer window. He went on to make 12 appearances in all competitions at Victoria Park, helping the Staggies secure their top-flight status.

“Hjelde also scored one goal during his time with Ross County, which came in the 3-2 victory against Kilmarnock. At youth level, Hjelde has won international caps for Norway at Under-16, 17 and 18 level. He becomes the club’s seventh signing of the summer transfer window and will initially link up with Mark Jackson’s Under-23 side.”

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