At the beginning of January, the Internet was awash with news from Finland that Leeds United had bought/were in the process of buying young Finnish defender Aapo Halme.
That rumour and conjecture turned into something a little more solid on January 3 (below) when the Whites announced the official signing of the rangy central defender who signed on from HJK Helsinki.
✍️ | #LUFC are pleased to confirm the transfer of 19 year old Aapo Halme from Finnish side HJK Helsinki on a four year contract
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 3, 2018
Leeds United’s website announced the signing of Halme “on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.” They also say that the youngster will initially join the Under-23 side with “the view to stepping up to the first team in the coming months.” Aside from the usual parading of player holding shirt for photographic purposes, and being spotted watching an Under-23 game, there’s been little seen, nor heard, of him since early January.
The lack of any appearances has been confusing for Leeds United fans, Halme appearing to drop off the edge of flat earth. However an article in Finnish publication Italehti throws welcome light on the issue. According to Italehti, Halme’s absence is due to an injury suffered “as early as two months ago.”
The young Finnish defender is a little non-plussed about the nature of the injury, saying of its origin, “I suspect there has been a blow there, but I do not remember that there was anything like that.” The youngster has been recuperating since and has been at Thorp Arch n the treatment room at 9:15 to work with the club’s physios before undergoing a series of exercises.
The plan of action was for Halme to play for Leeds United’s Under-23s, but that has been curtailed somewhat by injury worries. However Italehti say that the 19-year-old Finn will take up summer training with the Whites before a decision is made where Halme “will go to another club for a second time of if he will continue in Leeds.”
This essentially points to the Whites either taken him into the fold or loaning him out to allow him to gather valuable first-team experience.