Christiansen: Shaughnessy an “important guy” for Whites

VERSATILE: Leeds United's Conor Shaughnessy. Picture by Tony Johnson.
VERSATILE: Leeds United's Conor Shaughnessy. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN believes Conor Shaughnessy will be an “important guy” for Leeds United after excelling on his full league debut against Fulham.

Shaughnessy failed to make a single appearance for first club Reading but was thrust into the starting line-up against Fulham due to injuries to other United defenders.

With Matthew Pennington and Liam Cooper both sidelined, Shaughnessy was selected to partner the vastly more experienced Pontus Jansson at centre-back but put in a man of the match display that helped United to a clean sheet as part of a goalless draw.

Christiansen admitted was impressed with the 21-year-old’s display, especially with Shaughnessy arriving at Leeds recognised more as a midfielder.

“He has the possibility to play as a no 6 and that was the first intention that I had when I saw him,” said Christiansen.

“But now he gives me another option playing as a centre back and this is good that we have players who can play in several positions for the squad.

“Of course he has a lot of things to learn but he is still young.

“Time will give him the opportunities to play more but I am very satisfied with his performances.

“I have said that he is an intelligent player who can play in several positions and he will be an important guy for this team.”

Shaughnessy now appears likely to drop to the bench for Saturday evening’s Championship clash at Sunderland with Cooper back from injury though the former Reading player’s performance against Fulham will have given Christiansen food for though.

Pennington remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Asked if the emergence of Shaughnessy meant there was no need to seek further signings at centre-back, Christiansen reasoned: “Right now we have three and when Matthew comes back we have four there. So that helps to have another option.”