As confirmed by the club themselves, Leeds United have parted company with young defender Paudie O’Connor who has headed down the A647 to join Bradford City.
Ballybrown-born O’Connor joined the Whites from League of Ireland side Limerick FC in early March 2017 and was considered by many Leeds fans as ‘one to watch’. He joined Leeds after impressing club scouts and appearing 39 times for Limerick across two seasons, scoring three goals.
During his time at Elland Road, the 21-year-old featured extensively for the Under-23s, but just four times for the first team. That four-game spread saw him play full games against Sunderland, Preston North End, Aston Villa and Norwich at the tail-end of the 2017/18 season.
His immediate future didn’t seem to be at Leeds United and the Irishman spent last season out on loan in League One with Blackpool and Bradford City. His first loan spell at Bloomfield Road saw him feature in 17 games for the Tangerines, scoring two goals.
At Valley Parade, O’Connor flitted between the matchday squad and not, before finishing the season strongly in Gary Bowyer’s City side. A run of seven full appearances saw him round out the season in impressive form, captaining the Bantams in their final three performances against Gillingham, Scunthorpe and AFC Wimbledon.
It was common knowledge that City wanted O’Connor back for their 2019/20 Sky Bet League Two campaign, many Leeds United fans thinking that this would be a loan deal. However, O’Connor leaves Elland Road on a permanent deal, and a free transfer to boot.