Marcelo Bielsa has insisted that Jamie Shackleton is a player he can trust following the youngster’s return to the Leeds United starting lineup for the last two games, in comments reported by Leeds Live.
Shackleton has enjoyed an interesting time throughout Bielsa’s tenure. He has consistently been in the fold. But he has not quite been able to stamp his authority on a place in the side.
With Kalvin Phillips missing the last two games through injury, Shackleton has come back into the starting lineup.
He did not look out of place in either fixture, despite Leeds falling to successive defeats. And Bielsa suggested that he is happy with the 21-year-old’s development.
“I believe in Shackleton as an important alternative for Leeds United. He’s in a similar process to that of Pascal [Struijk],” he said, as reported by Leeds Live.
“The only thing is that Pascal has a continuity that Shackleton hasn’t been able to have. I consider him a player that I can trust and I’m satisfied with what he has brought to the team.
“Apart from that, he is a very serious player, very applied and very conscious of what is needed to play at this level.”
TBR Views: Signs of Shackleton’s potential apparent throughout Bielsa’s tenure
What is particularly interesting about Shackleton’s position in the squad is that he has so rarely played for the under-23s during Bielsa’s tenure.
There have been a number of players regularly involved under Mark Jackson, and Carlos Corberan before that, who have also been included in Bielsa’s match day squads.
So it is interesting that Shackleton has not been a prominent member of the under-23s. It surely highlights the quality and the value that Bielsa already sees in Shackleton.
And judging by his latest comments, the Leeds boss clearly thinks he may not be too far from securing a much more regular spot in the side.