Scandinavian Sentinal looks to make impact at the highland club. – by Ross Cameron
It’s safe to say new County loanee Leo Hjelde might not be a household name amongst the Jailend. However, the Scandinavian defender has shown in just one game that he might have what it takes to aid the below-par defence, who have conceded a gargantuan 48 goals this season.
The scoreline last weekend would suggest it was a poor performance all round, however that was actually not the case. Hjelde proved himself handy in defensive areas, performing a series of blocks and clearances against his bitter old-firm rivals, who he is far from unfamiliar with, having played against them numerous times in the Celtic youth system.
Leo has notably played for the Norwegian Under 16’s and Under 17’s a total of 16 times. Hjelde shares the same flag as fellow Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, who one day he may even be the successor of, should he prove himself in the Highlands. Hjelde can play a variety of positions, in particular on the left side of the defence.
Celtic pride themselves in their youth in similar ways to how the Staggies do. The main focus of the Glasgow giants is often loaning out youngsters. This can be for several reasons, be it for game time, first team involvement or even just a fresh start. Ross County have made great use of this over the years, with stars of past and present, Micheal Gardyne, Marcus Fraser and
Jamie Lindsay originating from the Champions youth academy. However, the Staggies have made excessive use of this more recently. Midfielder Euan Henderson applied his trade here in Dingwall for a part of last season, along with highly rated shot stopper Ross Doohan making 5 appearances before being recalled by Celtic this campaign.
So after a highly impressive professional debut from the 17 year old Norwegian on Saturday, can Leo Hjelde kick on and make an impact at the Global Energy Stadium?
Let’s hope so…