Many Leeds United fans have been reacting on social media, after the club shared that youth striker Niklas Haugland has been named in Norway’s Under 18s squad.
Haugland joined the Whites as a free agent in 2018 after parting ways with academy side Fana IL U19, signing a three-year contract at Elland Road as he strived to further his career with a move to England.
He could have chosen to join some of Europe’s largest clubs instead of life in West Yorkshire, though United beat interest from AC Milan, Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg to secure Haugland’s signature.
The 17-year-old centre-forward had to wait a year until he would make his U23s debut under Carlos Corberan, when fielded against Crystal Palace in a Professional Development League fixture that would end goalless after Eagles prospect Nya Kirby missed from the spot.
More recent outings in Mark Jackson’s U18s have seen Haugland fair stronger, having helped our junior side to reach the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup and book a date with either Norwich City or Manchester United.
His performances have clearly garnered some attention from the Norway set-up, whom last called on Haugland to represent their U17s in March 2019.
Will Haugland make it to the first-team?
Haugland represented Norway’s U17s eight times after making his debut in a 4-1 win over Azerbaijan in October 2018, and scored his sole goals with a brace against Romania. The Hjellestad-born striker did not find the back of the net in any of his three outings at U16 level.
He could now make his U18s debut next month, when Norway face Romania, Turkey and Portugal on February 7, 9 and 11 respectively as part of the La Manga tournament.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to the club’s news of Haugland’s call up to Norway’s U18s…
Can he play up front or defensive midfield?
— batesyV3 (@BatesyV3) January 20, 2020
— Declan Benton (@DeccieBenton) January 20, 2020
Sounds a bit like Haaland so I’ll take that! Get him in the first team 🤦🏻♂️😂
— James (@jimmy_L_UFC) January 20, 2020
Can he take penalties?
— t v r (@tvr_82) January 20, 2020
Go and make the team proud Niklas 👏
— Margarita Haynes (@MargaritaHayn17) January 20, 2020
Why hasn’t he been selected for Leeds first team squad?
— David (@wizard_david04) January 20, 2020
Fair play. Promising player 👍
— Craig Hartgen (@hartgen) January 20, 2020
I’m presuming you when you sent Orta to get Haaland he came back with this guy
— zan (@chowdhryzan123) January 20, 2020
In other Leeds United news, a £10.8m-rated striker is likely to stay away from Elland Road this month.