Leeds loanee Conor Shaughnessy made his SPFL debut for Hearts on Wednesday night after making the temporary switch to Tynecastle Park earlier this month, and what Marcelo Bielsa will have seen may be enough to prove his decision to discard the youngster right.
Currently sixth in the standings, the Jam Tarts went into their game against Dundee with their new signing at the heart of the defence and would have been hoping to extend their three-game win run to four, thus allowing them to go above St Johnstone.
However, Shaughnessy and co fell to a 2-1 defeat. The Irishman gifted Dundee the winner with an unfortunate moment, as reported by Edinburgh Live, in the second half in what was a disappointing debut.
Meanwhile, Leeds remain at the top of the table in the English Championship and, though thinning down an already bare squad by loaning out Shaughnessy was a risk, few would be able to argue with Bielsa’s decision now.
The 22-year-old had made just one appearance for Leeds this season, as per Transfermarkt, before sealing a move to Scotland one week into the transfer window with Bielsa having Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper, Aapo Halme, Gaetano Berardi and even Kalvin Phillips available when everyone is fit and available.
While the likes of Jack Clarke have benefitted from the Whites boss’ willingness to give youth players a shot at the first team, Shaughnessy was deemed surplus to requirements and it’s now clear to see why.
Without running the risk of offending Scottish football fans, the standard of football in comparison with the Championship is surely a step down and if the defender cannot carry himself well in that team, then there is little hope for him in a side pushing for promotion to the Premier League.
Shaughnessy can, of course, pick his form up from here – if he cannot, though, having suffered a nightmare first 90 minutes, it may be the beginning of the end of his Leeds career.