By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

10th Jan, 2022 | 3:40pm

Pundit wowed by 'brilliant' Leo Hjelde display in Leeds United defeat v West Ham

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

Paul Robinson was very impressed with debutant Leo Hjelde’s performance as Leeds United lost to West Ham in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Manuel Lanzini’s controversial first-half goal effectively won the match for the Hammers before a stoppage-time Jarrod Bowen goal rounded off the 2-0 win as Leeds pressed for a late equaliser at the London Stadium.

Despite the defeat, 18-year-old Hjelde did a great job alongside Diego Llorente in the centre-back position as he made his senior debut for the Yorkshire club.

Robinson wasn’t surprised to see Leeds lose at West Ham, despite the controversial circumstances, but admits he was blown away by what he saw from Norwegian teen Hjelde.

“Hjelde played well,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.

The goal was quite clearly offside, I can’t see how they came to that decision but the side that they put out, I’m not surprised they lost.

They’re out of the FA Cup and their focus has got to be getting players back [from injury] and staying in the league.

Hjelde did really well though. He came off with 10 minutes left.

He was brilliant and handled himself really well.

It was a difficult game but you’ve got to give credit to Hjelde because he didn’t look out of place. It was a very good start for him.”

Hjelde made an impressive last-ditch challenge on Nikola Vlasic to stop him scoring in the first half but unfortunately for the 18-year-old, the scramble that ensued led to Lanzini’s controversial goal.

In other Leeds United news, this senior ace is reportedly on his way out of Elland Road despite Bielsa’s wishes.