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Mark Jackson names Leeds starlet with same qualities as Charlie Cresswell

Mark Jackson has suggested that he challenged Leo Hjelde to lead the Leeds United under-21 side on Tuesday as he sees similar qualities in the 18-year-old to Charlie Cresswell – in comments reported by Leeds Live.

What’s the story?

Leeds have their first victory in the Papa John’s Trophy since entering the competition for the first time as an under-21 side last season.

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They beat Oldham 3-2. The scoreline was close, but the Whites played a lot of very good football and could have potentially scored more.

It was a big night for Hjelde. The summer signing was given the armband for the Whites. And he went on to produce an incredibly assured performance while he was on the pitch.

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And after the game, Jackson explained why Hjelde was the one chosen to skipper the side at Boundary Park.

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“It was a test for him tonight, to come in and take the armband and lead the team. I challenged him to lead the team and organise, it’s a new system of play for him to get used to so that challenge as well is going to be difficult for him but I’ve got full confidence and I see the qualities in him, which hopefully I can help nurture,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live.

“I did that a lot with Charlie Cresswell throughout the time I worked with him from when he was an U-16, through the 18s and in the 23s as well and I see certain qualities in Leo as well.”

Leeds have plenty to get excited about if Hjelde is going to follow in Cresswell’s footsteps

Jackson’s comments are particularly encouraging in a week where Cresswell has established himself as a future first-team star.

The 19-year-old was outstanding against Fulham and West Ham. And he has potentially left Marcelo Bielsa with a reason to perhaps not bring Pascal Struijk back in immediately.

So for Jackson to make a comparison between Hjelde and Cresswell is extremely exciting.

He is a player with first-team experience. And he has made a really good start to life at Leeds.

Hjelde making his first-team debut anytime soon would be a concern as it would suggest that Leeds’ centre-back problems have continued.

But if he continues to build on his bright start, that senior bow may not be too far away.

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