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Hugo Diaz sent clear message by Aapo Halme selection

Leeds United

Hugo Diaz sent clear message by Aapo Halme selection

The Spaniard looks to be down the pecking order in the Leeds first-team.

Leeds United had to dig deep into their reserves this weekend to field a competitive team against Bristol City. Will Huffer was brought in for his debut in goal. There was also a first appearance for centre-back Aapo Halme in the Leeds United first-team.

The Finnish youngster has struggled with injury since arriving from HJK Helsinki in January but has returned to form and fitness this term.

It was a great opportunity for the 20-year-old and it was good to see Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa give him a chance.

 

But whilst his appearance is great news for the youngster, it also sends a message to another.

Hugo Diaz Rodriguez of Leeds United FC (C) fights for ball during their match with the Myanmar National League All Star football team at Thuwana football staduim in Yangon on May 9, 2018. – Leeds United arrived in Myanmar May 8 to kick off an end-of-season tour mired in controversy over whether the second tier Championship team should be playing in a country that the UN accuses of ethnic cleansing against its minority Rohingya Muslim community. (Photo by YE AUNG THU / AFP) (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Last season, Hugo Diaz filled in at centre-back under Paul Heckingbottom. That came amid a similar injury problem. Signed from Deportivo La Coruna by Victor Orta, he came on as a substitute in a 3-1 loss to Preston North End in April.

On this occasion, Diaz was not given the chance. Halme has clearly surpassed the Spaniard in the pecking order, despite being younger than the 21-year-old. Whilst Pascal Struijk will also feel disappointed not to get the nod, he is just 19, and Leeds were perhaps wary of his age.

Diaz, on the other hand, is more experienced and was in the Leeds first-team last season. Watching Halme leapfrog him is a clear indicator that his long-term future is not at Leeds.

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