Noel Whelan has claimed that Jamie Shackleton signing a new deal with Leeds United is “massive” for the club.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites forward hailed Elland Road chief Andrea Radrizzani for taking such a proactive stance in contract negotiations.
The versatile 20-year-old recently put pen to paper on an agreement that will extend his stay with his boyhood club until at least 2024.
And Whelan has admitted that he is delighted with the update.
When asked how much of a boost it will be for Leeds to retain Shackleton’s services on a long-term basis during an interview with Football Insider, he said: “It’s massive.
“I think the club in recent times under different chairmen would have gone about contract negotiations completely differently and been pretty slack, to be quite honest. Mr. Radrizzani has come in, he sees the value of these young players and their contributions throughout the season.
“Jamie Shackleton, to me, is a player who will get better and better with age and time. He’s proven that with a strong finish, getting some goals at the back end of the campaign to clinch promotion to the Premier League.
“It’s great to see that the club have tied him down for a good length of time because there’s lots more progression in a fantastic player already. I look forward to seeing him more.”
Shackleton made 22 Championship appearances for Leeds last season, featuring in the centre of midfield and occasionally on the right-hand side of defence.
The youngster scored his first senior goal for the Whites during the 3-1 win over Derby County in July, before following it up with another strike just days later in the 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic.