Date: 2nd May 2019 at 7:20am
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Former Leeds United striker and now BBC matchday commentator Noel Whelan believes that manager Marcelo Bielsa has high hopes for young defender Conor Shaughnessy.

The 22-year-old Republic of Ireland Under 21 international centre-half has come through our Academy ranks and he already boasts first time action at Elland Road, with eleven starting appearances to his name, with a further four showings from the substitutes bench.

He appeared under Bielsa back in August in the 2-0 defeat to Preston North End in the EFL Cup, and come January we took the decision to send him further north into Scotland for a spell with Premiership side Hearts.

Arriving at Tynecastle late on in January, it has been a mixed spell really as he’s only made eight appearances for them, but he was back in the squad for their recent draw with Hibernian at the end of April.

Whelan recently told Football Insider that he feels Bielsa believes the lad has a very bright future ahead of him, and he expects himself to establish his name in the first team within the next few seasons.

“Shaughnessy has a chance at Leeds because we don’t have an abundance of centre-backs and he made a good impression when he was in the first team. I think Bielsa has high hopes he can take advantage of his loan spell at Hearts, get some valuable experience under his belt and return a better player. He started well when he first got in the Leeds team, but it’s a matter of being consistent. The injury last season set him back but he has time on his side.”

Given the raft of injuries we’ve had this year, Shaughnessy may well have had decent game time with us had he stayed to be honest, but the spell away should’ve been an education of its own and he just needs to keep his head down and keep working hard and his chance should come.

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