Paudie O’Connor has departed the club to join Blackpool on loan for the season. It’s a great move for the young Irish defender who has left with everyone at the club and the fans backing him to come back stronger and ready to push for the Leeds United first-team again.
O’Connor is a very likeable character off the pitch as well as on it and the fact he knew heading out on loan in the lower leagues was crucial. Many young players are happy with their wage and sitting the development squads but O’Connor has the hunger for football, that’s obvious in the way he plays football and this is a huge step in his Leeds United career.
O’Connor was the captain of the under 23’s after signing from Irish club Limerick where he had already developed into a first-team player. He was called upon as the defensive problems at Leeds mounted with injuries and suspensions and in reality I think we all thought that had he been brought into the side sooner it would have helped us massively.
He wasn’t timid, he pushed Jonathan Kodjia around, a moment was caught on TV with O’Connor dragging the big striker around and then squaring up to him, the way to a Leeds United fans’ heart for sure. His defending was always very composed and there is little doubt the future is very bright for the player at Leeds.
He signed a new two-year-deal with the club last week which was great news, fans were delighted and the only question was whether or not he would go on loan, many, including myself were actually quite keen on seeing him get a chance with the first-team this season. On hindsight the loan is a great move for him, some serious game time and a chance to develop in a tough league.
We’ll be keeping a keen eye on the progress of O’Connor this season and that shows how highly regarded he is at Leeds United.