By Noel Whelan

1st May, 2019 | 11:00am

Exclusive: Bielsa has high hopes for 22yo loaned-out Leeds player - Pundit


Noel Whelan has claimed Marcelo Bielsa has high hopes for Leeds United loanee Conor Shaughnessy.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United striker, who covers all of the club’s matches as a pundit, is convinced the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international can establish himself at his parent club.

Shaughnessy joined SPL club Hearts on loan in the January window after being on the Leeds fringes in the first half of the campaign.

“Shaughnessy has a chance at Leeds because we don’t have an abundance of centre-backs and he made a good impression when he was in the first team,” Whelan said.

“I think Bielsa has high hopes he can take advantage of his loan spell at Hearts, get some valuable experience under his belt and return a better player.

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“He started well when he first got in the Leeds team, but it’s a matter of being consistent. The injury last season set him back but he has time on his side.”

Shaughnessy broke into the Leeds side when Thomas Christiansen was manager in the first half of last season.

He made 14 appearances under Christiansen and was rewarded with a new contract in September 2017 tying him to Elland Road until the summer of 2021.

Shaughnessy has yet to play for Leeds since Bielsa took over but has insisted he intends to make a strong push for the first XI when he returns to the club this summer.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that club chiefs are fuming behind the scenes after being trumped to “unbelievable” signing.