Celtic loan defender to former Hoops centre-back John Hughes at Ross County

Celtic defender Leo Hjelde has moved north to join another former Parkhead defender, John Hughes, at Ross County.

Celtic's Leo Hjelde during a during a training session at Lennoxtown (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The 17-year-old agreed to move to Dingwall on loan until the end of the season with the Staggies fighting relegation and heading to Rangers tomorrow.

Hughes has instigated a turnaround in fortunes at the Highland club who went on a barren run without a win in more than three months until defeating Hibs in late December and then followed up with a win over Aberdeen last weekend.

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Now Hjelde has joined and can play a range of positions. Hughes said: “Leo is a good young player that will see this spell as a key part of his development. I think it is important that in addition to the experience we have, we add young, hungry talent in to the side that are eager to go out there and go toe-to-toe with some of the best players in this league.

Leo Hjelde of Celtic during the Glasgow Cup match between Celtic and Partick Thistle in Dumbarton. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“Some people will look at it and say he is young, and he is a risk but sometimes you have to thrive on that, I know Leo will. For me, I have always tried to filter in young players in all my teams and this is no different, we will give him the opportunity but he has to show what he can bring when he is given the chance.”

Hjelde signed for Celtic 18 months ago from Rosenborg in his homeland.

County have also taken Blair Spittal back north for training with Partick Thistle’s League One season in abeyance.

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