Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde scores first career goal in Scottish Premiership relegation clash

By John McGinley

March 6, 2021

Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde has scored his first career goal out on loan at Ross County this afternoon.

He came into the match against Kilmarnock in the 22nd minute as a left-back, replacing the injured Carl Tremarco.

Shortly after half-time, the 17-year-old put County ahead in the match 2-1 after Billy McKay cancelled out former Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty’s opener.

John Hughes’ side would go on to win 3-2, taking a massive step towards safety from relegation.

The Staggies and Killie are both locked in a battle at the bottom of the table, but today’s win moves the Highland side four points clear with a game in hand.

Hjelde has been given excellent opportunities since making the switch on loan in January.

He’s played in every single one of County’s matches he’s been eligible for so far, with the only miss coming against Celtic.

It’s undoubtedly more football than he would have experienced with the Bhoys.

His only experience of a Celtic matchday this season was as an unused substitute against Hibernian in the wake of the Dubai nonsense.

Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

With no reserve football and a lack of opportunities for development squad friendlies, Celtic have done well to find a destination that allows him to gain senior experience.

The threat of relegation also provides a bit of useful pressure that could help forge the mentality to succeed at Celtic Park.

A massive well done to Leo for his first goal today!

In other news, John Kennedy is eyeing Scottish Cup success with Celtic.