Paudie O'Connor comments on Leeds exit

A general view of Elland Road as play continues in the second half during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers at Elland Road on December 8, 2018 in...

The 22-year-old quit Leeds United this past summer.

Blackpool's Paudie O'Connor during the FA Cup Third Round match between Blackpool and Arsenal at Bloomfield Road on January 5, 2019 in Blackpool, United Kingdom.

Paudie O'Connor has revealed that the need for first-team football drove his exit from Leeds United this past summer.

The Irish centre-back dropped down into League Two with Bradford City, where he spent the second half of last season on loan and was ultimately relegated with the Bantams.

O'Connor broke into Leeds' senior squad during the end of the 2017-18 campaign under Paul Heckingbottom.

But he struggled for regular football when Marcelo Bielsa replaced the former Barnsley manager a few months later, with Bielsa loaning him to Blackpool.

 

The 22-year-old is impressing with Bradford at the moment and O'Connor - a product of Leeds' academy - told Balls.ie that he simply had to leave West Yorkshire.

He said: "I am 22 now and it was in the back of my mind that I needed to be playing every week. Game time. That was pretty much my number one priority. Leeds are a huge club, don’t get me wrong.

"I obviously would have loved to try break in but when you keep banging on the same door and it is not opening, you have to look elsewhere."

O'Connor started and finished all four of his Championship outings for United.

He was one of several centre-backs to leave Leeds this past summer, along with the likes of Pontus Jansson and Aapo Halme, but so far Bielsa hasn't suffered as a result of having limited options for that position, with Ben White proving a revelation since joining on loan from Brighton.

Arsenal's Edward Nketiah shields the ball from Blackpool's Paudie O'Connor during the FA Cup Third Round match between Blackpool and Arsenal at Bloomfield Road on January 5, 2019 in...

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