By Noel Whelan

4th Aug, 2021 | 1:50pm

I've got a 'real soft spot' for Leeds star Shackleton after what I heard last Sunday - Whelan

Jamie Shackleton perfectly encapsulates the Leeds United philosophy – he will be a big asset to the club for years to come.

That is according Leeds ambassador Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 21-year-old’s performances in pre-season.

The midfielder played 70 minutes in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Real Betis on Sunday (1st August) and has featured heavily in pre-season so far.

Speaking to LUTV after the Betis game, Shackleton said: “We play as if it’s a league game, no holding back.”

And Whelan was impressed with Shacklton’s espousal of Marcelo Bielsa’s high-intensity approach.

“That’s the Leeds philosophy,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

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“People that don’t buy into that, the manager doesn’t sign or keep at the club. There is a very strong fitness regime at the club. That’s a matter of fact.

“You’ve got to have the right charactter, tick the right boxes for the manager and for the rest of the squad as well. Shackleton is 100 per cent all the time.

“He’s got energy to burn and it rubs off on everyone around him. He can play in numerous positions too, that’s one of the best things about him.

“He is a utility player and he’s only going to get better. I’ve got a soft spot for him, always have ever since he got into the team.

“His time will come and he’ll be a very handy player to have on the bench there when needed.

In other news, pundit predicts Leeds United may sign new defender after double injury blow.