As any Leeds United fan will tell you, the Championship is one hell of a slog.
Two games down, 44 to go; another long, hard season full of twists, turns, raucous wins and devastating defeats await a proud old club bursting at the seams for a long-awaited return to the Promised Land.
The self-styled ‘most competitive league in European football’ is hard enough to clamber out of, never mind when you have got just three senior centre-backs on their books.
With the English transfer window slamming shut on Thursday at 5:00pm, Leeds will have to navigate the next nine months with only Liam Cooper, Ben White and the versatile yet injury-prone Gaetano Berardi is genuine options in the middle of the defence.
We all know that the enigmatic Marcelo Bielsa prefers to work with a small, tight-knit squad. But, after discarding Pontus Jansson, Aapo Halme and Paudie O’Connor, getting rid of Conor Shaughnessy feels like a risk that just isn’t worth taking.
A 23-year-old defender who has played just once since Bielsa took over in West Yorkshire, Leeds Live claim that Shaughnessy could follow the aforementioned trio out of Elland Road before the end of the month with League One crisis-club Bolton Wanderers interested.
Now, we are not saying that Leeds should be promoting the former Reading youngster to the starting XI any time soon but Championship titles are won not just by the quality of your first team but by your strength in depth. Norwich and Sheffield United, who finished first and second last season, will no doubt agree.
There are so many superfluous cup fixtures and daunting midweek fixtures to come and Shaughnessy would provide some much-needed cover at a club who’s lack of depth cost them dear just a few months ago. Let him go and Leeds are asking for trouble.
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