Finnish outlet HS have claimed that Aapo Halme is to leave Leeds United on a permanent basis this summer and join Championship rivals Barnsley, following the Tykes’ promotion to the second tier.
The 21-year-old colossus broke into the Leeds side last season, with Marcelo Bielsa’s squad lacking in depth at centre-back. Only Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson were the club’s recognised centre-backs.
Now, Leeds have signed Ben White on loan from Brighton, and that has pushed Halme down the pecking order. Indeed, the 6ft 5in giant had already dropped behind Pascal Struijk towards the end of the 2018-19 season.
He has been linked with a move across Yorkshire to Barnsley, along with winger Mallik Wilks, and the latest reports emanating from his home country suggest that he is close to agreeing a permanent deal.
Halme, who made five senior appearances for Leeds and even scored against QPR in the FA Cup, could be brought in as Liam Lindsay’s replacement at centre-back by Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel.
TBR’s view – Halme not good enough for Leeds or Bielsa
Though it is clear to see Halme has some advantages to his height, his clumsiness on the ball is something that does not fit in well to Bielsa’s style of play.
The reason why Leeds have taken a chance on Brighton youngster White is because he is a ball-playing centre-back. Halme simply is not, instead proving effective in the air – in both boxes.
Though he may be better for another team, Leeds is not the right home for Halme.