Leeds employee Noel Whelan has been reacting to an injury update regarding Jamie Shackleton, as per Football Insider.
The Lowdown: Shackleton close to Thorp Arch return
Jesse Marsch has had a number of injury issues to deal with during his short time as Whites manager, one of which has been with Shackleton.
The Latest: Whelan’s comments on Shackleton
Former Leeds striker Whelan, who is now an employee of the club, labelled Shackleton’s absence as a ‘huge miss’ and described his imminent return to as ‘massive’ due to his versatility.
He told Football Insider:
“A huge miss.
“You mention the word versatility, I think he can play about three or four different roles in that team. Very much like Stuart Dallas. “He definitely gives you options and somebody that is very valuable on the bench. He’s somebody that can play those different roles and can adapt to it very quickly. A right-sided midfield player, right wing-back, central midfield, the left side too.
“He gives you those massive options where you don’t need to change anything around too drastically. If there are any injuries to a certain player, you know you’ve got someone that you can trust.
“He gives you 100 per cent and he’s got that tenacity about his game. Right now, after the couple of seasons that he’s had, he’s one of the more experienced young players that we have.
“He can come into the team. You can throw him in there and know that he can go do a job.”
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The Verdict: Good news for Leeds
At the age of just 22, Shackleton has already racked up 78 appearances in a Leeds shirt, making him very much a senior member of the squad, especially when you look at Marsch’s substitutes at Vicarage Road.
Therefore, his return to the squad – along with Firpo – is a timely one ahead of the final six games of the season. He will be able to provide another option for Marsch at right-back and in midfield and hopefully will be able to make the trip to Crystal Palace on April 25.
With that match still nearly a fortnight away, it should give Shackleton ample time to get up to speed after his recent convalescence.
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