By Saikat Mandal

11th Jan, 2023 | 12:10pm

Rotherham United want to sign Leo Hjelde on loan from Leeds United - Phil Hay

Rotherham United are looking to sign Leo Hjelde on loan from Leeds United, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

The Championship club sit just a place outside the relegation zone, and they are fighting for survival.

Hjelde, 19, has struggled for regular first-team action for the senior team and has mostly played with the Under-21s.

The youngster has managed two league cup appearances this season, but unlike last season, he is yet to feature in the Premier League under Jesse Marsch.

Hjelde, who can play at both left-back and centre-back, could further drop down the pecking order following the arrival of Max Wober from Red Bull Salzburg.

“Loan update in our transfer tracker – Rotherham in for Leeds United defender Leo Hjelde. Leeds more covered on the left after the signing of Max Wober,” wrote Hay on Twitter.

Makes sense

The Norwegian has really struggled for senior team action this season, and it makes sense to send him out on loan. 

The problem is Rotherham are in the midst of a Championship relegation battle, so it’s difficult to say how he will be managed by the club. 

If he makes a solid start, then probably the club will be encouraged to use him regularly, but the opposite can happen as well. 

The youngster needs to play regularly, and for that, this loan move could be important for his development. 

He is a fantastic young talent and playing for the Under 21 side won’t help him in the long run. 

At the moment, Leeds are well stocked in their defensive areas, and it is next to impossible for the youngster to break into the senior team at the moment. 

Hjelde wasn’t considered a left-back option for the club so far despite their crisis in that position. 

It probably means that Marsch feels the defender is not ready yet for his side. If that’s the case, then he must grab this opportunity and move out this month to gain more experience. 

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are keen on signing this Wolves player in January.