Leeds United are a club renowned for their youth academy at Thorp Arch and their willingness to promote youth in to the first team – the evidence is there.
In the current side the Whites’ academy set-up has produced and honed the likes of Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips and to a lesser extent at the moment, Tom Pearce. Move away from the current side and you could mention the likes of Alan Smith, Danny Rose, James Milner, Fabian Delph and Lewis Cook – all who’ve gone on to the Premier League.
You could point a finger anywhere in football and you’d likely find an example of a former Leeds United academy graduate ‘doing good’ at another club.
There was a rethink in youth strategy at Elland Road after Andrea Radrizzani took over. The new Italian owner, looking to put right the wrongs of his processor Massimo Cellino, had a number of youngsters brought in to Thorp Arch from high-profile clubs on the continent.
Players like Kun Temenuzhkov and Oriel Rey joined from Barcelona, Alex Machuca from Rayo Vallecano and Oliver Sarkic from Benfica came to West Yorkshire. According to the following tweet from Norwegian Leeds United fan Rudi Gerhard Rakner, another might well be on the way:
— Rudi Gerhard Rakner (@BergenWhites) July 22, 2018
Rakner says that youngster who he calls a “wonder boy” has arrived in Leeds and looks to be about to take up a trial at Thorp Arch. This comes after other trials with some big clubs on the continent such as AC Milan, Bayern Munich (below) and Salzburg (above).
It was whilst playing for Red Bull Salzburg that he helped them lift the Istria Youth Cup, a competition that featured youth players from Inter Milan, Chelsea, Dynamo Zagreb and Benfica.
Above Haugland is pictured at Bayern Munich training campus, no doubt the next step will be Leeds United fans looking out for a similar picture appearing of him stood proudly outside Thorp Arch.