Phil Hay has dropped an update on the future of Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton.
In a recent article for The Athletic, the Leeds United correspondent revealed that, despite having joined Millwall on a temporary basis this summer, the Championship side hold an option to make the 22-year-old’s loan a permanent switch at the end of the season – with Hay going on to suggest that the former England U20 international’s time at Elland Road appears to be all but over.
Regarding the midfielder’s future, the journalist said: “Shackleton is 22, has had his chance at Leeds and knows that he and the club are almost done. Millwall have an option to buy him when his loan expires.”
While it is true that Shackleton was a regular part of Leeds’ first-team squad over the course of their last two Premier League campaigns, in truth, the youngster never really proved that he is cut out for a career at the very top of the English game.
Indeed, over his 13 Premier League appearances back in 2020/21, the £2.25m-rated talent failed to impress, making an average of 0.7 interceptions, 0.8 tackles, 0.2 clearances and losing 53% of his duels, with these returns seeing the 22-year-old average a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.58 – ranking him as the Whites’ fourth-worst performer in the league that season.
Things did not improve much for the £17k-per-week midfielder over his 14 league fixtures last season, with the academy graduate making an average of 0.6 interceptions, 1.9 tackles, 0.7 clearances and winning 51% of his duels, with these metrics seeing the makeshift right-back average a Sofascore match rating of 6.70 – ranking him as Leeds’ joint 13th-worst performer in 2021/22.
It has been a similar case for the player who Gary Rowett dubbed “energetic” over his ten Championship appearances so far in the current campaign, with Shackleton averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.68 for the Lions – ranking him as the club’s seventh-worst performer in the second tier of English football.
As such, while the former England youth international may well go on to enjoy a fine career further down the English footballing pyramid, it is evident that the midfielder is simply not cut out for a team hoping to push for a top-half finish in the Premier League this season – leading us to believe that Orta simply must bin Shackleton at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.