It’s been a somewhat frustrating season for Leeds United youngster Jamie Shackleton this term, with the midfielder struggling for consistent game time in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.
The 20-year-old has been restricted to just 16 appearances for the Whites in all competitions, as they continue to make progress in their bid for promotion into the Premier League.
Shackleton is currently behind the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich in the pecking order at Elland Road, and it certainly seems as though he’ll struggle for regular minutes if they are to make a long-awaited return to the top-flight next term.
The midfielder made 21 appearances in last year’s league campaign for Leeds, which ultimately ended in disappointing fashion after they were beaten in the play-offs by Derby County.
Speaking in an interview with Football Insider, former Leeds man Noel Whelan insisted that Shackleton’s short-term future at the club could be decided during pre-season.
“I think pre-season will probably dictate what happens for Jamie. The league we’re going to be in will dictate decision making for both club and player.
“What is the best way to get that progression in your career and as a player? Is it going to be in the Premier League? If it is, then that’s great experience even if it’s 15 games.”
Whelan went on to admit that Shackleton could be keen to push for a loan move to a Championship club to further his development in senior football, after an impressive breakthrough season last term.
“What you’ve got to do is assess it at the end of this year, see where we are, see what players we’re going to be bringing in, see what the squad is looking like and also what Marcelo Bielsa wants and what Jamie wants.
“He might want to go and play 46 games in a Championship club rather than being a bit-part player in the Premier League.”
Due to recent events, Leeds aren’t due to return to competitive action until the 2nd May, when they’re set to host Charlton Athletic at Elland Road.
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I think a loan move would definitely be the best option for Shackleton next season.
I’m surprised that he’s not featured more than he has with Leeds this season, but it is somewhat understandable given the impressive performances from the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich this term.
Shackleton was hugely impressive in the back end of last year’s campaign as Leeds narrowly missed out on promotion into the Premier League after a defeat to Derby County in the play-offs.
I don’t think he’ll be getting much game time if Leeds are playing in the top-flight next season either, so you would imagine that he’ll be pushing for a loan move elsewhere to further his development away from Elland Road.