If you were to tell Jamie Shackleton last summer that he will be preparing to make his bow for the England under-20’s in the prestigious Toulon Tournament in 2019, he would have understandably been a tad bemused.
Although a supremely talented player, the midfielder had yet to make his debut for Leeds United and was looking at spending another year playing in the club’s youth ranks.
However, after catching the eye of Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa with a number of promising performances for the under-23’s, Shackleton was handed his debut by the Argentine in a 4-1 victory over Derby County in August and has never looked back since.
During a hugely impressive 2018/19 campaign, the Thorp Arch academy graduate made 24 appearances in all competitions in which he featured in several different positions for his boyhood club.
Despite Leeds suffering play-off semi-final heartbreak in May which subsequently consigned them to another season in the Championship, Shackleton’s mighty contributions during both legs suggests that he is well on the way to becoming a modern-day hero at Elland Road.
Therefore, it is of little surprise that he has one of the players to earn a call up for England’s under-20 squad earlier this week.
Reacting to the Whites’ announcement on Twitter that Shackleton has been included in Paul Simpson’s squad, loads of Leeds fans expressed their delight at the news.
Fantastic news. So pleased for him.
— paul warrick (LUFC) (@paulwarrick3) 30 May 2019
— Simon Coston (@simoncoston) 30 May 2019
Congrats @jamieshackk on your call up, gonna have a massive career
— OxleyLufc (@OxleyLufc) 30 May 2019
Congratulations Jamie, fully deserved
— Mark Jackson (@jacko55555) 31 May 2019
Well done mate top stuff. @jamieshackk
— GARFORTH WHITE RAFDAD (@1970Garforth) 30 May 2019
Fantastic news & expect him to be a star for us next season #lufc
— Chris Wheeler (@ChrisHWheeler) 31 May 2019
The future is bright for this lad #lufc
— paul kelly (@paulie_lufc) 30 May 2019
Well done Jamie, massively deserved
— Ryan (@RPlufc93) 30 May 2019
Thoroughly deserved! Will be a big player for us next season!!!
— Martin Kelly (@kels9lufc) 30 May 2019
— Charlie Daley (@_charliedaley) 30 May 2019
With the Three Lions aiming to win the Toulon tournament for the fourth consecutive year in June, the 19-year-old will be hoping that he can replicate the performance levels that has seen him thrive at Championship level over the past 10 months.
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