Danny Mills has claimed Leeds United rookie Jamie Shackleton is good enough to be a midfield regular for the team next season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England defender is convinced the Elland Road academy product, 19, is the “real deal” and can be a major force for the club.
Shackleton broke into the Leeds side under Marcelo Bielsa and was mainly used as a substitute before taking advantage of injuries to Tyler Roberts and Adam Forshaw to play 90 and 66 minutes of the two play-off semi-final encounters against Derby County.
He has been used at both right-back and in central midfield during his 24 United senior appearances.
“Shackleton has done very well when he’s played for Leeds,” Mills told Football Insider. “He’s quick, tenacious, drives forward with the ball and can see a pass.
“He can slot into the midfield area next season, no problem. If you have him and Kalvin Phillips, you need someone creative alongside them.”
Shackleton made just three league starts for Leeds before his central role in the play-offs, and the strong impression he made will stir further debate about summer transfer plans.
Much will depend upon the managerial situation, with Marcelo Bielsa admitting he will hold talks with the club to determine his future.
In other Leeds United news, Mills names the ‘available’ player the club must sign to secure promotion next season.