Leeds United ended their losing run at the weekend, drawing 2-2 with Reading at the Madejski Stadium. It could have been all three points though, if it was not for a Eunan O’Kane own goal.
It was a harsh moment for the Irishman, who has been one of the more publicly criticised Leeds players by the Elland Road faithful.
When signed by Garry Monk in August 2016 he was supposed to help Leeds in their bid for promotion. After all, O’Kane had experience of making it into the top-flight from his spell with Bournemouth.
But perhaps Leeds got it wrong by believing O’Kane had what it take to shore up their midfield.
O’Kane played a pivotal role in the rise of Bournemouth. He was a regular in their League One promotion campaign, where they finished second to Doncaster Rovers in 2012-13.
He then remained a regular as Bournemouth finished 10th in their first Championship campaign.
The following season and Bournemouth were promoted. However, O’Kane was not a regular. The Irishman only featured 11 times in the league that season, starting just eight times. O’Kane suffered ankle ligament damage that season. But even when fit, he could not usurp the likes of Harry Arter, Andrew Surman and Dan Gosling in the first-team.
O’Kane was not a pivotal member of Bournemouth’s promotion charge. In fact, he didn’t play for the Cherries after January of that season.
He was then a bit-part player in the Premier League and Leeds are simply discovering O’Kane’s level. The 26-year-old is a very good League One player, and at best a mid-table Championship one.
Leeds signed O’Kane hoping he could take them to the Premier League, but such success was beyond the midfielder.
Leeds need to find their best midfield partnership and it may be that contains O’Kane for the time being. But if they want to challenge for promotion next season, the Irishman is probably not the answer.