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‘Bielsa clearly doesn’t think much of him’ – Assessing what the future holds for Leeds United outcast: Six Pointer

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The transfer window might well have shut for Leeds United in terms of incomings last Thursday, but there are still players who can make the move out of Elland Road this month, with the League One and Two window open until the start of September.  

Leeds had a heavy focus over the summer on moving fringe players out, and whilst their work in that department has been strong, there are a few that could still do with finding a new club.

One of those is versatile Irishman, Conor Shaughnessy, who we take a look at in this FLW Six Point Opinion…

Firstly, tell us a little bit about Shaughnessy’s time with Leeds…

“The Irishman first broke onto the scene at Leeds in the 2017/18 campaign, when then-boss, Thomas Christiansen, took a shine to him.

“He’d been at Reading previously, but never made the grade, and Leeds gave him a chance in the Championship.

“And, Shaughnessy produced some good performances under Christiansen, offering Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper cover.

“However, Marcelo Bielsa hasn’t taken a shine to the 23-year-old, giving him just 45 minutes of action and sending him out on loan to Hearts last season.” 

And, is he not in Bielsa’s plans for the season?  

“He’s miles down the pecking order in terms of defenders and midfielders.

“There were no pre-season outings for Shaughnessy, and in many ways, he’s become the forgotten man at Elland Road.

“Bielsa clearly doesn’t think much of him.”

So, a move definitely seems on the cards? Where could he end up?

“Absolutely, it seems like the next two weeks could bring something.

According to Leeds Live, Bolton Wanderers and Burton Albion both have a known interest in Shaughnessy, which could bring about a move.

“Bolton’s takeover has delayed any progress, whilst Burton’s interest did come earlier in the summer.

“As the weeks tick down, you’d expect a couple more League One clubs to have a look.” 

There’s been a lack of opportunities in the Championship, is League One more Shaughnessy’s level?

“It’s a funny one to call really, as Shaughnessy did look comfortable at Championship level, albeit in a much worse Leeds side than the one Bielsa has built.

“Whilst the Argentine clearly doesn’t rate Shaughnessy, in my eyes, he’s good enough to build a career in the Championship. However, he might have to step into League One to find his way.

“He’d be able to really express himself in the third-tier and I could see him impressing.” 

What will he bring to a League One side?

“Shaughnessy is a versatile player who is comfortable at both centre-back and at the base of midfield.

“Given the traits he possesses to fill both roles, he’s good on the ball and would offer a strong option for any side looking to play out from the back.

“In addition to that, Shaughnessy is quite a big unit, so the physical side of the game shouldn’t be a problem at all lower down the Football League.

“Mentality will be another strong trait; he’s played for Leeds and Hearts, who are two relatively big clubs, and his mindset will have benefitted from both spells.” 

Finally, rate the chance of a move materialising…  

“I’d say there’s a very good chance of this happening before the end of August.

“Shaughnessy will be of interest to clubs in League One and Two, and Leeds clearly don’t see him playing a role at Elland Road this season.

“All parties involved will be working toward an agreement.”

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