This season Shackleton has been ever reliable and a staple squad rotation player for Marco Bielsa but we can’t help but think that this bright youngster has more to give this campaign following a brief, but impressive run out in the number 10 role at Swansea.
At 19 years of age, evidently, Shackleton has the potential to go on to be a fantastic player and under the tutelage of Bielsa, he can flourish. However, Shackelton has been playing in the right-wing-back position which he has performed well in but if given a chance to play in the center midfield position like at Swansea he could give a different dimension to Leeds United.
Since the departure of Saiz, Leeds United have struggled with the transition from defence to attack without relying on the wingers. This is due to the fact that they no longer have a designated number 10 in which the attacks can go through, like Samu Saiz. This directness, pace and presence may be replicated through the use of Izzy Brown who has just returned from injury, however, after seemingly not quite convincing Bielsa of his ability, Jamie Shackleton shares similar attributes and may be a possibility for a go at number 10, ahead of Tyler Roberts or Izzy Brown.
This season Shackleton has made 16 appearances with 3 coming from the bench, he has scored 0 goals but has registered 1 assist. After seeing these particular statistics you may think he hasn’t performed too well; that is far from the truth, with Shackleton offering an unmatched amount of energy and work-rate on and off the ball, giving significant defensive and offensive contributions.
The Englishman is again praised for his aptitude of passing as he has achieved 84.1% passing accuracy and 0.3 long balls per game. These passing statistics from the 19-year-old are very commendable and prove that if he were to play as an advanced midfielder ahead of Roberts and Brown – following Roofe’s injury – he could increase his statistics whilst getting more goals and assists.
Furthermore, his natural position is the center midfield role because his defensive attributes are not his strong points due to him averaging 0.6 tackles per game which is not the greatest for a right wing back. As a result, it proves that Jamie Shackleton could thrive in his preferred position in midfield linking up play and creating multiple chances per game which most definitely fits in with the type of player Bielsa needs and wants.
Additionally, if the youngster is played in center midfield he will relieve Roofe of the duty of dropping deeper than usual since the return of Bamford as we saw Roofe do against Swansea despite being a striker and due to the recent injury to the forward is it time for Shackleton to get his chance?
Following Roofe’s injury, Brown will likely be pushed into a role where he plays much more often, likely to debut against Bolton. This leaves a gap in the under 23’s setup for another young talent has been brought in by Leeds United the highly anticipated Mateusz Bogusz.
The polish prodigy has been electric in his home country for Ruch Chorzow where he has made 19 appearances scoring 5 times and gaining 1 assist. These statistics are phenomenal for such a young player who is also revered for Poland and has played at every tier of the Poland youth team.
Initially, Bogusz will play with the under 23s but the Leeds fans better get used to the name as we will be sure to see him in the senior set up soon. With a keen eye for goal and superb technical ability, he will slot perfectly into Bielsa’s system as the number 10 in years to come.