Celtic have confirmed that defender Leo Hjelde has moved to Ross County on loan for the remainder of the season [Twitter].
The 17-year-old joins up with former Celtic defender John Hughes, who has recently taken charge of the Staggies.
Hughes is a coach renowned for working with and developing young talent.
He seems excited by the move, telling the official County website: “Leo is a good young player that will see this spell as a key part of his development. I think it is important that in addition to the experience we have, we add young, hungry talent in to the side that are eager to go out there and go toe-to-toe with some of the best players in this league.
“Some people will look at it and say he is young, and he is a risk but sometimes you have to thrive on that, I know Leo will. For me, I have always tried to filter in young players in all my teams and this is no different, we will give him the opportunity but he has to show what he can bring when he is given the chance.”
Hjelde joined the club in 2019 from Rosenborg but is still just 17. He was named on the bench last Monday night at home to Hibernian as the Dubai debacle impacted first-team options.
He now has a fantastic opportunity to show what he can do in the top-flight.
As Celtic enter a period of transition, with many defenders having an uncertain future, Hjelde can stake a claim for a first-team squad spot next season.
Celtic fan reaction to Leo Hjelde move
Celtic could do with sending a few more players out on loan too. Midfielders such as Luca Connell and Barry Coffey badly need game time, while Scott Robertson was progressing well at Gillingham.
It’s something fans want too, so it was no surprise the announcement went down well, even in the climate of #LennonOut posts.
These supporters have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the Hjelde move…
good luck to the boy👍🍀
— helen hart 🏴🇪🇺 (@bomerH) January 22, 2021
Good move for the lad, now sack Lennon x
— Matthew. (@MatthewMcG_67) January 22, 2021
Okay that’s actually quite good for him to get game time but sack Lennon
— joseph (@jjosephwatt) January 22, 2021
Hopefully he’ll develop with a loan in the same way Ajer did. Mon Leo, big chance to break through next year
— SeanTheSheep (@beerandfootypls) January 22, 2021
Good luck young man 👍🇮🇪
— Danny 🍀 🇮🇪 🏴 (@Danny_bhoy3) January 22, 2021
Good that’s what we want our youngsters going out to teams in the same league as us on loan to get them used to the league 👏 maybe send out oko flex too and Luca Connell too and a few others 🍀
— Paul Bhoy 🏆🍀 (@PaulBhoy_94) January 22, 2021
Good news. He will be developed by a better coaching setup there.
— Yankee1O570 (@Yankee1O570) January 22, 2021
Hope he gets a good chance at County. Definitely one for the future https://t.co/9FypUkimow
— Paul Mcginley (@PaulMcG1994) January 22, 2021
Last Norweigan Defender we sent on loan…thats all im saying https://t.co/P3rd9u5lPG
— Ciaran (@Chxppily) January 22, 2021