By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

27th Aug, 2021 | 7:17am

Paul Robinson reacts as Leeds United close in on Celtic defender Leo Hjelde

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United

Paul Robinson is optimistic about Leo Hjelde’s development at Leeds United as the Celtic defender closes in on a move to Elland Road.

The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has reported Hjelde, 17, will join up with the Whites before the transfer deadline next Tuesday while Fotball Norge has reported that personal terms have been agreed with the Norwegian teenager.

Hjelde earned first-team experience while on loan at Scottish Premiership side Ross County last season but Robinson still expects the youngster to feature for the Under-23s this term at Leeds.

However, Robinson feels that there’s no better coach for Hjelde than former defender Mark Jackson, who’s in charge of Leeds’ Under-23s.

Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “He’ll go into the Under-23s, he’ll go into Mark Jackson’s squad.

Jackson was a senior player when I first became an apprentice and he was a fantastic centre-half. He had a decent career out of the game and he’s a top-quality coach.

As a centre-half, you couldn’t come into the club and learn under somebody better. It can only benefit Hjelde to play for Jackson.

I think he’ll come in and obviously Leeds have had defensive problems in the last 12-18 months and in the next two or three seasons, we’ll probably see him come into the first-team.”

Hjelde played 12 times in all competitions for Ross County last season to help them avoid relegation. He also scored one goal, which came in a 3-2 win against Kilmarnock, who were relegated.

John Hughes, who managed Hjelde at the Staggies, was so impressed by the Norway youth international that he even dubbed him to be the next Virgil van Dijk.

Time will tell whether that prediction is right and Leeds United fans will certainly hope it will be.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay shares what’s “true” amid reports the Whites have agreed personal terms for a major new signing.