It has been a whirlwind few months for Irish youngster Conor Shaughnessy at Leeds United. He was just one of the youngsters playing out his career in the development squad and now he is a rotated player in the centre-back position at the football club, remarkably not even his natural position.
He received his first call-up to the Ireland under 21 squad last month and will be delighted with how his career has taken off under Thomas Christiansen. A central midfielder by trade the young man was almost forced into a role due to a lack of players in the central midfield position in pre-season and hasn’t looked back. He had some very good performances in the side and the need for a 4th centre-back at the club had disappeared by the time Fulham came to Elland Road and couldn’t break down the back four which included Shaughnessy. The form of Liam Cooper has also meant that we have more than enough in that area now.
He has played in a handful of games and has been a big part in the League Cup side which has progressed past Port Vale, Newport County and Burnley. In all fairness the only poor game we have played all season at Millwall was a big learning curve for him but in my eyes he didn’t do anything wrong despite him not excelling as such. The new deal shouldn’t be a surprise with him out of contract at the end of the season and Leeds making sure the players are tied down for the future. He has joined Baily Peacock-Farrell, Kalvin Phillips, Tyler Denton, Lewie Coyle, Malik Wilks and Ronaldo Vieira to sign a new long-term deal in recent times.
For a player who has come from nowhere I think he has done exceptionally well. He started with conceding a penalty at Bolton but bounced back and when his name appears on the teamsheet there is little concern in the stands which is testament to how he has performed since breaking into the side. Thomas Christiansen has converted him into one of the most difficult positions to learn on the pitch and that hasn’t been an issue. The call-up for the Irish under 21’s will do him the world of good in terms of confidence and development and getting a new four-year-deal will boost that even further.