In Focus: Leeds beat Premier League duo to defender; more to come from youngster

According to reports in the Irish Sun, Leeds United beat off competition from a number of Premier League clubs, including champions Leicester City, for the signing of Limerick defender Paudie O’Connor.

What’s the story, then?

Well, the 19-year-old came through the Limerick academy but with his contract expiring and following some impressive performances at centre-back, Shamrock Rovers were keen to keep him in Ireland, but Leeds and a number of Premier League sides were interested in bringing him to England.

What happened next?

Despite training with top flight teams Leicester City and Crystal Palace, O’Connor went on trial with the Leeds and the Championship outfit were obviously pleased with what they saw, bringing him to Elland Road on a two-and-a-half year deal.

How has he done in his career so far?

Very well.

His breakthrough season came last year when the centre-half made 23 appearances – scoring twice – as his side won the First Division title.

What can he bring to Leeds?

Let’s ask his former manager. Limerick boss Martin Russell told the Irish Sun:

“He’s a good defender, particularly in the air. He attacks the ball well for a young player and there is more to come from him.”

Will we be seeing him in the first team soon, then?

It depends. If he continues to impress then potentially we could, although with Leeds fully immersed in a promotion battle, Garry Monk might not want to risk blooding the youngster just yet.