It was obvious to Leeds United fans that Conor Shaughnessy was surplus to requirements under Marcelo Bielsa. Now, his career has taken another knock while on loan at Hearts.
The 22-year-old defender managed just 45 minutes under the Argentine boss this season. He was hooked at half-time during a 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Preston North End.
He failed to play for Bielsa’s senior side since. Even when Leeds needed a centre-back, Bielsa opted for Aapo Halme as well as playing Kalvin Phillips out of position at centre-back.
It saw the Ireland Under-21 international move on loan to Scottish Premiership side Hearts. But it has not gone to plan under Craig Levein so far, managing just five appearances for the Jam Tarts.
He was benched for two games and then completely left out of the 18-man squad that beat Dundee 1-0. It went from bad to worse on Monday, as he was included in the Under-23 side that lost 3-2 to Celtic.
Celtic reserves v Hearts reserves.. some exciting talent here at Cappielow Park today ? pic.twitter.com/3sg2mQVxXo
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) March 11, 2019
To show just how far the 6ft 3in defender has fallen, the winner was scored by 16-year-old Karamoko Dembele from a free-kick. As well as being six years Shaughnessy’s junior, Dembele is just 5ft 3in – a foot smaller than Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy, who has turned out 15 times for Leeds senior side since his debut under Thomas Christiansen, has a contract at Elland Road until the summer of 2021.
But with Liam Cooper, Pontus Jansson and perhaps more signings coming in this summer, the chances of Shaughnessy breaking into the senior side is unlikely. Playing for Hearts’ reserve side is not going to help.