New Leeds signing can’t believe Bielsa ‘dared’ to sign him in ‘unreal’ deal

Date published: Saturday 11th September 2021 9:41 - Jonny Whitfield

Leeds United goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson

Leeds United goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson says that he still cannot believe that the Premier League club signed him this summer.

The Whites snapped up the 20-year-old on a four-year deal this summer following Kiko Casilla’s departure. The Spaniard endured a tough run at Elland Road and felt a loan move to Elche would be good for him. In signing Klaesson as back-up, though, they have gone down a tried and tested route.

Current number one Illan Meslier signed with a similar original remit. However, the Frenchman got his chance after Casilla’s eight-match ban for racially abusing WBA’s Jonathan Leko in 2019/20.

He has not looked back since and is only one year older than his deputy. Klaesson, though, has admitted that he did not expect to be at Elland Road this season.

“No, this is still a bit unreal, I have to admit it,” the goalkeeper told Dagsavisen (via Sport Witness).

“It is very nice that Leeds dared [to do] this, to bet on me.”

Klaesson arrived in Marcelo Bielsa’s team from Valerenga in Norway’s first division.

He insisted that clubs around the world should learn from their approach and confidence in him.

“It may be wrong for me to say this, but I see this as an inspiration for other clubs that give young goalkeepers a chance,” he explained.

“[Manager] Dag-eilev Fagermo should have a lot of praise for that.”

Leeds’ Klaesson thankful for opportunities

Kristoffer Klaesson (pic via Leeds United)

“Valerenga let me stand and did not bring in a 30-year-old to put me on the bench. I hope other clubs learn from this,” he added.

“It is wrong to say that you are not affected by it [mistakes].

“But you get a little thicker skin and I have learned extremely well from the mistakes I have made.”

Klaesson has yet to get his chance in the Premier League, but he has appeared on the bench for all three Premier League games so far this season.

Meanwhile, he has played four Premier League 2 games for the club’s Under-23s.

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