As had been widely rumoured, Leeds United have completed the signing of Finland youth international Aapo Halme 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
Read more ➡️ https://t.co/k2vjAktQ4b pic.twitter.com/WvqsM0Nkw9
The 6’4”, 19-year-old centre-back signs a contract until the end of the 2021/22 season and will initially join up with Carlos Cobreran’s u23 side, although the club have specified it is “with the view to stepping up to the first team in the coming months”.
| “I’m really happy to be here” After signing for #LUFC earlier today, Aapo had a quick message for fans... pic.twitter.com/bLVBF8nC3m— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 3, 2018
It would therefore be very unlikely that he sees the pitch against Newport County in the FA Cup, and this may be because the Finnish Veikkausliiga is a summer league so Halme will not have played much football since the end of October.
Some words on Aapo Halme from HJK Helesinki fan @Icallius #LUFC #MOT pic.twitter.com/tFxBia71bD— FocusOnTheFooty (@FocusOnTheFooty) January 2, 2018
The club have announced the transfer as an “undisclosed fee”, however reports in Finland from the publications that first discussed the transfer put the fee at EUR560,000 (around £500k).
Aapo Halme signs 4,5 year contract, fee 560000 euros. 10 other teams interested but wanted to #lufc #mot #alaw https://t.co/a2gUiibyaD— Ari-Pekka Mahlio (@amahlio) January 2, 2018
Last season he made 13 appearances, 10 from the start, for HJK Helsinki side as they won the Veikkausliiga by 20 points with a +62 goal difference. There is no doubt the move to the English Championship is a step up in quality and pressure but hopefully we will see him step up the level required.