Tottenham Hotspur left-back Danny Rose may not be too impressed by the transfer activity performed by former club Leeds United in recent months. After all, even the most ardent footballing expert may have had to resort of Google for a little background info on the likes of Samu Saiz, Ezgjan Alioski and Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
And it is fair to say HJK Helsinki’s 19-year-old centre-back Aapo Halme is not so much a household name. The Finland Under-21 international is, however, one of the most exciting young talents in Scandinavian football and has reportedly piqued the interest of Thomas Christiansen’s side.
Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat claims that Leeds are sharing an interest with Ajax and Bundesliga surprise packages Hoffenheim for the 6ft 8ins teenager who, perhaps inevitably, has been compared to Finnish legend and former Liverpool skipper Sami Hyypia.
HITC sources told us back in May that Leeds had sent scouts to watch Halme in action for Helsinki, who clinched the top flight title at the weekend.
And if Leeds fans wanted an indication of how talented the young defender is, interest from Ajax speaks volumes. After all, the Eredivisie giants are one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs when it comes to identifying and rearing top talent.
Ajax have made excellent use of highly-rated young Scandinavian talent in recent years, bringing in the likes of Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Kasper Dolberg (below) for measly sums before increasing their transfer value hugely.
And the fact that they are tracking Halme suggests that Ajax believe he is a young player with a potentially huge re-sale value who could be sold on for a profit in a few years time.
If Ajax are interested, it is usually a sign that a youngster is worth keeping an eye on.