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Marcelo Bielsa has praised midfielder Jamie Shackleton ahead of Leeds United’s Premier League clash against Southampton.
The 21-year-old is a highly skilled young talent, and Bielsa has said she trusts him completely.
The Argentine has described him as a “very serious” player who is an “important alternative” for Leeds United.
“I believe in Shackleton as an important alternative for Leeds United. It is in a process similar to Pascal (Struijk) ”. said Bielsa to Leeds Live.
“The only thing is that Pascal has a continuity that Shackleton has not been able to have. I consider him a player I can trust and I am satisfied with what he has brought to the team.
“Apart from that, he is a very serious player, very applied and very aware of what it takes to play at this level.”
The young midfielder has made three Premier League starts this season and was impressive in the 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Bielsa rates him highly and feels that Shackleton has what it takes to be successful at this level. At the moment, he cannot offer him regular playing time, but the youngster is progressing a lot with the Argentine.
It will be interesting to see if Leeds sign a defensive midfielder in the summer. Phil Hay has recently suggested that Whites want to sign Kalvin Phillips as a ‘peer to peer’ cover.
Struijk can fill that role, but he’s most effective playing central defender. Shackleton has the potential to fill that role, while Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are other alternatives for Bielsa.
Leeds will play Southampton in the Premier League tomorrow, and Shackleton is expected to start in midfield with Phillips still injured.