By David Woods

7th Feb, 2020 | 2:41pm

Leeds chief hints at return to first-team for player who last played under Heckingbottom

Leeds United MD Angus Kinnear has hinted at a possible return to the Leeds first-team for forgotten man Eunan O’Kane. 

The 29-year-old midfielder was one of the first victims of the Marcelo Bielsa cull when the Argentine first arrived at Elland Road.

O’Kane played the last game of the 17/18 season under Heckingbottom but was told he was surplus to requirements that summer and he went out on loan to Luton.

He suffered a horrific double leg break there and returned to Leeds but headed back out on another loan to Luton this January.

His current contract runs up until the summer of 2021 and Kinnear has said that the door isn’t closed on a return to the Leeds first team.

Talking on BBC Radio Leeds this week, Kinnear said, “In all cases we want our players to thrive and be successful, and for various reasons some players aren’t ready for the first team, or in Eunan’s case he suffered a really bad injury that had him out for 18 months.

“Our objective there is to get Eunan playing again, to get his career back on track to give him a chance to potentially come back and feature for Leeds United, but if not to forge a career for himself somewhere else.”

We’d be very surprised if this happened.

O’Kane revealed that he was shown the door by Bielsa after the new manager watched his games in the 17/18 season.

He said that he didn’t have a single conversation with the manager and was informed about the decision while he was on holiday.

We’ve got a lot of sympathy for O’Kane.

He signed from Bournemouth in 2016 and made 58 appearances for the club.

It can’t have been easy to get bombed out of the club and the injury that kept him out for a season-and-a-half could have potentially been career-ending.

That he’s still playing in the Championship is an achievement but Leeds are looking to build a squad ready for the Premier League next season and O’Kane isn’t going to come into Bielsa’s thinking unless something very dramatic happens for him at Luton.

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