The transfer window for the Championship may have closed on 8th August but today was the last day for the League One and League Two transfer windows as well as European leagues including Scotland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. It represented the last opportunity for Leeds to offload unwanted players before January. Leeds have already cleared the decks of deadwood with the likes of Caleb Ekuban, Paudie O'Connor, Hadi Sacko and Yosuke Ideguchi already having left the club this summer but there were a few more players who do not feature in Marcelo Bielsa’s plans the club were looking to move on.
Laurens De Bock
The first departure of the day was left back Laurens De Bock who joined League One side Sunderland on a season-long loan. De Bock joined Leeds in January 2018 as the answer to their problems at left back but after only 7 games lost his place to Tom Pearce. Leeds strengthened the position again in the summer of 2018 with the signing of Barry Douglas. De Bock was now down the pecking order and joined Oostende on loan for the season. This summer with De Bock was still not in Bielsa’s plans, now behind Douglas, Alioski, Dallas and Leif Davis a move to Aris Thessaloniki looked to be on the cards. The move to Greece broke down and De Bock’s future had looked uncertain until the interest from Sunderland. With a lack of depth at left-back, Denver Hume the only natural in that position, De Bock is seen as good solution to provide cover in that area for the Black Cats.
Next to go was Vurnon Anita who departed the club my mutual consent. The signing of Anita in July 2017 always seemed like a useful one on paper, a versatile defensive midfielder with experience of promotion. His appearances for Leeds were limited to providing cover for Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi at full back to limited success. Anita managed 18 appearances for Leeds but was not given a shirt number ahead of the 2018-2019 season as part of the Bielsa revolution. Last season was spent on loan at Willem II with rumours of a move to Panathinaikos or MLS emerging this summer but failed to materialise. With 12 months left on his Leeds contract a mutual parting of the ways seems like the best option for a player who will not get a look in at Leeds this season.
Defender Conor Shaughnessy also joined Mansfield Town on a season-long loan. Shaughnessy started his career at Reading’s academy, signing for Leeds United after a successful trial in September 2016. His first team debut came just under a year later during a victory away at Bolton Wanderers in August 2017. A serious ankle injury limited his opportunities for the rest of the 2017-2018 season. Despite starting against Preston in August 2018 Shaughnessy was not in Marcelo Bielsa’s plans and he went on loan to Hearts in January 2019 where he picked up a Scottish Cup runners-up medal. The move to Mansfield will be an opportunity for the 23-year-old to get his career back on track with regular football.
Leeds United’s Deadline Day Departures - De Bock, Anita and Shaughnessy Secure Moves