He’s quite a talent, isn’t he? Jamie Shackleton is enjoying his first season in professional football with Leeds United this season and his displays will have made a positive impression on both the fans and the manager.
Shackleton has earned himself a place in the first-team fold under Marcelo Bielsa this season and given how tough it is to win the Argentine bosses faith, he and Jack Clarke from the academy have done especially well to put themselves into Bielsa’s thinking and get game time over the course of the season.
The 19-year-old has made 22 appearances across all competitions this season, including six starts varying in position. Shackleton may naturally be a box-to-box midfielder, but due to the more senior quality in that role at the moment, he has mainly been used at right-back.
Possessing such calmness on the ability and tenacity in the press means he instantly is a player that fits Bielsa’s bill and can more than do a job in that role. His versatility is a testament to his attitude in that he will work hard whenever he is presented the opportunity to put on the white shirt.
As Shackleton is bound to have a bright future, that poses the question as to what the future holds for him?
Bielsa seems to keep his most promising youth prospects close to him as opposed to loaning them out, so the most likely outcome is that Shackleton stays at Elland Road for the long-term, gradually being exposed to more first-team football year on year until he establishes a regular spot in the side.
His versatility will come in handy, though, as it means he can operate in either the midfield or at right-back whenever he is needed, meaning he will surely get more opportunities as a result of that.
A loan move is still a viable option, especially if United get promotion and he struggles for game time in the Premier League as he will need that consistency to develop over time. But, for now, if he continues to work as hard as he is doing, he can go far at United and further endear himself to the Elland Road faithful.
Leeds fans, what do you think the future holds for Jamie Shackleton? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!