Why did it take more than a year for Niklas Haugland to make Leeds U23s debut?

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

The Leeds United youngster arrived at Thorp Arch extremely highly-rated in August 2018.

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Plenty of excitement surrounded Niklas Haugland's arrival at Leeds United last summer - and for good reason.

The Norwegian teenager had previously trialled with Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Red Bull Salzburg before he signed a three-year deal at Leeds.

Then not even legally able to drive in this country, Haugland naturally went straight into the Whites' Under-18s side and scored eight goals in 16 games last season.

 

However, despite being included in several U23 squads, the former Fana IL forward had yet to appear for Carlos Corberan's side by the start of this week, with injuries playing their part in the hold-up.

But with colleagues such as Jack Clarke (England U20s), Kun Temenuzhkov (Bulgaria U21s) and Ryan Edmondson (England U19s) away with their own countries, the Norway U17 international was finally given a run-out at Crystal Palace on Monday.

 
 
 
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Happy to make my u23’s debut away against Crystal Palace #mot #lufc

A post shared by Niklas Haugland (@niklashaugland) on

And while Haugland perhaps hasn't done enough to cement a place in Corberan's plans once Clarke, Temenuzhko and Edmondson (et al) return to Leeds - having spurned several opportunities to mark his debut with a goal - further chances are sure to await him this season.

His record at U18 level suggests he is certainly worth persevering with.

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