This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The frailties of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad are coming to the fore again this season following injury to centre-back Liam Cooper, who is sidelined for up to six weeks, which has ultimately left the Leeds United squad looking thin at the back.
It calls into question Bielsa’s recruitment policy at Elland Road and raises the question whether 22-year-old centre-back Paudie O’Connor should have been sold to Bradford in the summer, after he put in some excellent performances for the Bantams that led to him being nominated for the League Two player of the month award for September.
So did the Whites make a mistake selling O’Connor to Bradford this summer?
“O’Connor is a decent player and he’s done well for Bradford so far this season. He’s certainly got a lot of potential and he’s clearly going to have an important role to play in the Bantams’ promotion push this season.
“I’m not sure if Leeds have made a mistake in selling him to be honest. He’s a good player in League Two but I’m not sure he’d of been able to make the same impact in the Championship.
“Even with Liam Cooper injured, I’m not sure he’d get into the Leeds team ahead of Gaetano Berardi due to his experience.
“He could be an important player for Bradford this season though and he’ll be determined to prove himself and convince Leeds that they made a mistake in letting him go.”
“This is an interesting one but I think the club made the right call.
“O’Connor has started fantastically at Bradford, making eight appearances so far and receiving a nomination for League Two player of the month.
“However, League Two is a very different standard to competing at the top of the Championship, so it is way too early to talk about mistakes.
“Marcelo Bielsa appeared not to see a future at Elland Road and with a number of young defenders waiting in the wings at the club, it looks like the right decision.”
“Although O’Connor struggled to make an impression at Leeds before moving to Bradford, his former side may live to regret letting him go if he continues to perform well in League Two.
“Already a mainstay in the Bantams’ starting eleven, the defender has taken his game to new heights over the past month as he has played a pivotal role in helping his side make a positive start to the 2019/20 campaign.
“As well as illustrating that he is a fantastic reader of the game in a defensive sense, O’Connor has also fired in two goals for Bradford in the fourth-tier.
“Whilst Ben White and Liam Cooper are both delivering the goods for Leeds this year, it could be argued that O’Connor may have been a good back-up option for Marcelo Bielsa to turn to.”