Paudie O’Connor has an uncertain future at Leeds United, having struggled for playing time at Elland Road since joining from Limerick in 2017. The 21-year-old has made only four appearances for Leeds in the last two years and could find himself low down the pecking order in 2019/20 as a result.
Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper, Gaetano Berardi, Luke Ayling and Aapo Halme have operated at centre-back under Marcelo Bielsa in 2018/19 which could limit O’Connor’s chances of getting first-team football. The Irishman is out of contract in 2020 and may be on his way out of the club if he continues being on the periphery.
O’Connor has spent the last 12 months on loan at Blackpool (July 6, 2018 – January 7, 2019) and Bradford City (January 8, 2019 – May 31, 2019). He made 17 appearances for Blackpool, scoring two goals, but spent the majority of the campaign as an unused substitute or out of the matchday squad. Between September and mid-December, O’Connor made only League One appearance.
The centre-back cut his loan deal short at Bloomfield Road to join Bradford in January and went on to make nine appearances for the Bantams. He amassed only 46 minutes of football in his first two months at Valley Parade but finished the season as more of a regular in defence.
With Bielsa having so many centre-back options at Leeds, however, it’s hard to see O’Connor getting game time at Elland Road. Whether he’ll be loaned out again, put up for sale or reduced to reserve-team football remains to be seen, but Bradford are keen on his signature.
Stats from Transfermarkt.