Leeds United make bid for 'real deal' Celtic defender tipped to follow Kieran Tierney's footsteps

Leeds United have made a bid for teenager defender Celtic defender likened to Kieran Tierney, the YEP understands.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:05 pm
BID RECEIVED - Leeds United have made an offer for Celtic defender Matthew Anderson. Pic: Getty

The Whites are chasing defender Matthew Anderson of the Scottish Premiership giants.

The 17-year-old has been described by a former coach as being one to watch, with the potential to follow in the footsteps of Tierney, who moved from Celtic to Arsenal two years ago and is now a key player for Scotland.

Leeds, who also hold an interest in another Hoops youngster Leo Hjelde, want to add Anderson to the Thorp Arch ranks this summer.

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Left-back Anderson, 17, signed a professional contract at Celtic Park in January 2020 after moving from Blantyre Soccer Academy in Glasgow.

He was part of the Celtic Under 18s side, coached by former Leeds loan defender Darren O'Dea, who were furloughed by the club in January.

Anderson has represented Scotland at Under 16 level on three occasions and played in the Victory Shield against Wales and the Republic of Ireland alongside current Leeds Under 18 duo Ben Andreucci and Jeremiah Mullen.

Blantyre Soccer Academy chief Jimmy Whelan has tipped the youngster for the top.

“It’s fantastic for us as a club, and it’s great to see Matthew doing so well," he told the Daily Record last year.

“He really is one to watch, he is the real deal, and could be like Kieran Tierney.”

Leeds, who already have former Motherwell prospect and Scotland Under 17 international Stuart McKinstry and Scotland Under 19 winger Liam McCarron in their Under 23s set-up, are plotting a fresh round of recruitment for the academy ahead of the new season.

Versatile centre-half Hjelde, also 17, is one of several youngsters on the domestic scene and abroad who are on Leeds' radar. He gained senior first team experience in the Scottish Premiership last season while on loan at Ross County, where he earned rave reviews.

The Whites' first team recruitment will take priority, however, before attention can turn fully to what they need below the senior squad. A left-back, central midfielder and winger are all expected at Elland Road during the summer window, with Victor Orta hopeful of movement on the former two signings over the next fortnight.