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