Leo Hjelde did little in the first few games to convince Daniel Farke that he could be the answer on the left side of the defence, and was axed – but the last couple of weeks may make Farke perform a u-turn.

Hjelde, 20, played regularly in pre-season – with Junior Firpo injured and Leeds failing to sign a new left-sided defender. Firpo is expected to return soonish, but throwing him straight into the side is unlikely.

There is still a gap. Sam Byram is also injured – although, he should be back soon, too. Versatile Jamie Shackleton has impressed in the role but obviously, as he is right-footed, is not the long-term answer.

Salford City v Leeds United - Carabao Cup Second Round
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So, the vacancy remains. A left-back is needed and £1m signing Hjelde has the potential to fill that void. But he struggled against Cardiff, hooked at half-time. Same against Shrewsbury. Poor at Salford City.

He has fallen down the pecking order. Farke unconvinced. But, his form over the last two weeks may have done enough to convince the German boss again – playing in a different role for Norway’s U21 side.

Last fortnight may convince Farke to perform Hjelde u-turn

Norway v France - U21 EURO 2023
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During the break, Hjelde helped Norway’s Under-21 side win 7-0 against San Marino and then Latvia. He played 90 minutes in both games at centre-back. It is probably his more-natural position, in the middle.

Leeds are well-stocked on the left of central defence, with Pascal Struijk impressing and Liam Cooper set to return in the next few weeks. But, what the last fortnight will do, will restore confidence in Hjelde.

It might just see him show an extra level in training and convince Farke to give him a go at Millwall come Sunday. Especially with Byram and Firpo likely to be out. Maybe, the break is just what Hjelde needed.

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