Leeds United have had a torrid time with injuries this season, haven’t they?
After heading into their play-off semi-final first-leg clash with Derby County on Saturday without the likes of Barry Douglas or Ezgjan Alioski, the last thing the Whites needed was to pick up any more knocks at Pride Park.
However, although Marcelo Bielsa’s side emerged victorious over the Rams, their worst fears where realised as Adam Forshaw had to be replaced midway through the first-half.
Speaking to LeedsLive ahead of the Whites’ return fixture at Elland Road in Wednesday, the Argentine confirmed that the midfielder would miss the game along with top-scorer Kemar Roofe who suffered a calf injury at the weekend.
Although losing Forshaw at this pivotal stage of the year will be a huge blow for Bielsa, the club’s push for promotion could remain on track if he decides to replace the 27-year-old with Jamie Shackleton.
Despite having no previous experience of play-off football, the Thorp Arch academy graduate produced an incredibly impressive display against the Rams after being brought on as a substitute by his manager.
As well as being very calm in possession of the ball, Shackleton’s outstanding movement constantly provided a threat for Leeds in the attacking areas of the pitch as he occasionally moved away from central midfield to the wide areas. Such was the teenager’s impact at the weekend, it could be argued that the Whites were much better when he was on the field when compared to Forshaw’s cameo spell.
Therefore, taking this into consideration, Bielsa must start Shackleton on Wednesday as he could prove to be the difference between the club playing Championship or Premier League football next season.
What do you think Leeds fans? Should Bielsa start Shackleton on Wednesday? If not, who do you think the former Athletic Bilbao boss should pick in Forshaw’s absence against Derby? Get in touch below.
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