This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.
Conor Shaughnessy has become a neglected figure at Leeds.
One of the players to break through a number of years ago, he made just a solitary appearance under Marcelo Bielsa in 2018/19.
It was determined over the summer that his development would be best placed on loan at Mansfield.
Perhaps they found it difficult to ship him out permanently or it might be the fact they have plans for him at some stage.
That being said, he’s now 23 and being sent for a temporary stay in League Two is unlikely to enhance his chances of a spot in the Leeds senior side anytime soon.
One thing that could work in his favour is the fact he’s been playing in a midfield role. Leeds have plenty of players in that department but arguably are missing options in a holding position barring Kalvin Phillips.
It’s a part of the pitch he played in during his youth career but was preferred in the centre of defence six times when he featured in the Championship in 2017/18.
Now gaining first-team exposure further down the pyramid, he started well but has since begun to dwindle in significant fashion.
Eager to impress, he made 2 key passes, 2 tackles and a dribble on his debut against Scunthorpe, per WhoScored.
It shows Shaughnessy is a dynamic individual but barring aerial duels, winning five versus Cambridge in a 4-0 defeat at home, his numbers haven’t been too impressive. Since that, he’s failed to win a game either.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of his play is his ability to keep the ball. The 23-year-old has only achieved an accuracy percentage north of 70% on one occasion.
He was particularly at fault in that Cambridge game, being dispossessed three times.
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It could be this trait that has seen him shipped out. After all, Marcelo Bielsa likes a passing style of play and on this evidence, Shaughnessy doesn’t fit it.
Leeds have kept over 60% of possession in the Championship this season and boast an average pass completion rate of 82.8%, via WhoScored.
Bielsa likes his players to keep the ball and be careful with their ball retention. The Leeds youngster has so far proven he struggles in this department.
With that in mind, he’ll have to improve if he ever wants a long-term future at Elland Road.