Leo Hjelde lifts lid on initial shock period under Marcelo Bielsa after joining Leeds United

Leo Hjelde says training at Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa came as an initial shock to his system.

By Joe Urquhart
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 12:30 pm

The 18-year-old defender made the move to Elland Road last summer from Scottish Premiership outfit Celtic, as Victor Orta' s scouting team ended a lengthy pursuit with his signature.

Hjelde has made a swift impression in West Yorkshire, stepping into Mark Jackson's Under-23s ranks before being handed a senior bow for the Whites.

Bielsa's side have faced an ongoing injury crisis this season which has shown no signs of letting up in recent months.

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Leeds United defender Leo Hjelde. Pic: Getty

The Norwegian was handed a debut against West Ham in the FA Cup last month before making his Premier League bow against the Hammers just a week later.

Hjelde has now detailed his preparation for the moment behind closed doors at Thorp Arch.

"A lot of the senior players came up to me on the first day and just told me: 'it will probably take you a couple of weeks to do all the drills and things but just settle in quickly and get to work'," Hjelde told LUTV.

"It's tough, I've never been used to training this hard before so when I came in it was a complete shock to the body and everything, so I was probably sleeping after every training session - I was just knackered all the time.

"You get used to it, though, and right now it feels easier, I would say, but it's still very hard."

Asked about his swift jump into senior action in the 3-2 win at the London Stadium, he added: "For me it was absolutely crazy, when we scored the third goal as well, everyone was celebrating with the fans and you can just hear the noise.

"To be fair, it felt like the whole stadium was filled with Leeds fans because you couldn't really hear the West Ham fans so, it was just unbelievable."