Leo Hjelde has had interest from Leeds United confirmed – but they aren’t the only ones looking at the Ross County teenager according to his dad.
The 17-year-old was hailed by County manager John Hughes this week. He confirmed that Leeds United tried to sign the left-sided defender before his loan move from Celtic to Dingwall in January, hailing Hjelde as the ‘next Virgil Van Dijk.’
While those are lofty comparisons for the teenager, his dad has confirmed interest from more than just Leeds United. Elland Road manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen, but dad Jon Olav Hjelde – formerly of Nottingham Forest – says the Ross County loan has been excellent for his son.
He said (T2): “There have been several clubs over a long period. I do not know how specific it was, but there is a bit of interest when you play in a top league at the age of 17. Now he is excited to see what happens at Celtic. The club is currently led by John Kennedy, awaiting a permanent manager solution.
“It will be exciting with Celtic, we do not know who will come in as the new manager. He must be in good shape after the summer break and impress a new manager who has probably not seen him before. If he manages to play for Celtic when he is 17-18 years old, it is very strong.
“I think it’s easier to play for Celtic, where you have the ball 70 percent of the time, than for Ross County. It is a physically tough league where you have to stand up for yourself. It has been the perfect challenge, he has really tried and been thrown to the wolves and fought for his life. It has been optimal.”
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.