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4 clearances, 55 passes: Why this Leeds United player offers hope for future



Despite suffering another away day defeat against Aston Villa on Friday, there were a few positives for Leeds United after more impressive displays by their younger players.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell continued to excel in goal, whilst Tom Pearce was composed and assured at left-back.

Another to catch the eye was Paudie O’Connor who was making his third consecutive start for the Whites.

As our graphic shows, the Irish centre-back was strong throughout, making two tackles, winning two aerial duels and completing four clearances, to show that he has the positional sense to cover for his teammates.

Yet, perhaps what was most pleasing for Leeds fans about the 20-year old was his ability on the ball and his courage to try and play out from the back.

He made 55 passes against Villa, with a success rate of 74.6% which highlights how his distribution could be key to Leeds in the years to come.

Obviously, as with any defender, it’s important that first and foremost they can defend, which O’Connor can but that willingness to play is needed in a modern centre-back.

Whilst Leeds don’t have anything to play for at the minute, manager Paul Heckingbottom will be planning for the future as he looks ahead to a busy summer that could see a lot of players come and go at Elland Road.

Yet, with performances like that, O’Connor, along with the other youngsters, are making a big case to stay involved in the first-team picture next season.