Aapo Halme is reportedly closing in on a permanent move across from Yorkshire from Leeds United to Championship rivals Barnsley this summer – but why are Leeds willing to let him go?
Finnish outlet HS report that the 21-year-old is closing in on a move to Barnsley, but prior to earlier reports, the former HJK Helsinki defender is to move to Daniel Stendel’s side on a permanent basis.
Leeds were lacking in options at centre-back, with Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson the only two recognised options at the heart of defence last season. Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi and Kalvin Phillips had to cover.
Even Halme was brought in for five matches, which makes a permanent move to Barnsley even more interesting. But perhaps the biggest question Leeds fans should be asking, is why has Hugo Diaz left, if Halme is leaving too?
— Hugo Díaz Rodríguez (@hugodiazrg) June 20, 2019
Diaz, 22, confirmed his departure last month with an emotional post, after captaining the Under-23 side to success in the Professional Development League North. He shone at the back, and in holding midfield.
Regularly alongside Halme and Pascal Struijk, Diaz was one of the star performers for Carlos Corberan’s side. Composed on the ball, a leader on the park and willing to dribble past players, Diaz was surprisingly released.
Perhaps at the age of 22 and only having made one senior appearance was a factor, but if the club have now decided to sell Halme permanently, why have they not kept Diaz instead?
Halme is certainly not Bielsa’s style of centre-back, but Diaz is. Twin that with Diaz’s ability to play in Kalvin Phillips’ role, it was questionable to see Diaz leave in the first place. Now with Halme going, Leeds have made a mistake.
— Hugo Díaz Rodríguez (@hugodiazrg) May 12, 2019