Pundit Exclusive: 'Superb' Leeds youngster tipped for big new role
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa may consider starting Jamie Shackleton in their next game after his performance against Aston Villa, according to Darren Bent.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England forward said the midfielder was “superb” after replacing Pascal Struijk in the 21st minute.
Struijk began the game in the defensive midfield role in the absence of regular starter Kalvin Phillips who is out with a shoulder injury.
However, he was replaced early on by Shackleton in the first-half after picking up a yellow card with Bielsa claiming he wanted more athleticism in his midfield.
It was the 21-year-old’s first Premier League appearance since the opening day defeat to Liverpool but he could be set for an increased role in Phillips’ absence.
Football Insider revealed that the England international may return sooner than the six week period publicly stated by the club and the game against Arsenal on 21st November is being targeted by Leeds staff.
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Asked by Football Insider whether Shackleton did enough to stake a claim for a regular starting spot, Bent said: “He did yes.
“He was another one that was superb.
“I’ve been trying to work this out about Leeds for a long-time, is it players or is it the system?
“I think it’s the system. Whatever player comes into that team and organisation, they are expected to do a certain role and if you don’t do that role youre not going to play.
“I don’t think Bielsa cares how good you are, you can be the best player ever, look at Augustin, he was supposed to be the next big thing that everyone made a song and dance about and Bamford saw him off.
“With what Leeds have got at the moment and Bielsa he must be so proud.
“If they can continue how they are at the minute who knows where they can finish.”
In other news, it can be REVEALED that Leeds United are lining up contract talks with a cult hero.