Centre-back chooses to join Leeds after sessions at Premier League duo - report

By Alex Stevens

Defender Paudie O’Connor has joined Leeds after visiting the training grounds of two Premier League clubs, according to a report.

It was announced on Thursday afternoon that the Championship promotion hopefuls had signed O’Connor, 19, from Irish top-flight club Limerick.

The confirmation on Limerick’s official Twitter account came after the teenager was in the Leeds Under-23s squad against Crystal Palace on Monday afternoon.

Irish site The 42 claim O’Connor has joined the Yorkshire giants on a two-and-a-half-year deal “after undergoing sessions with Crystal Palace and Leicester beforehand”.

O’Connor told The 42: “It feels unbelievable. I’ve had so many well wishes and messages over the last few days and it’s not until now that it’s really sunk in.

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“I get to have a chance at every young lad’s dream of growing up to play professionally in England and I just can’t thank everyone enough who’s helped along the way.”

O’Connor makes the move to the promotion-chasing Championship club after spent three years at Limerick, where he made 39 senior appearances.

He is set to link up initially with Leeds’ Under-23s and try to impress the coaching staff into promoting him into the first team squad, where the established centre-backs are Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley and Liam Cooper.

There is a clear path from the Leeds youth set-up into the first team with Ronaldo Vieira, Charlie Taylor and Kalvin Phillips all progressing into the senior side in recent seasons, as 2016 departures Sam Byram and Lewis Cook did before them.

In other Leeds transfer news, the Yorkshire giants are in shock talks to sign a Liverpool attacking player.

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