This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Against Barnsley, Jamie Shackleton put in a hugely impressive performance in terms of his numbers.
It was a big hole to fill given the consistency of Adam Forshaw this term.
The former Middlesbrough man has a pass success rate of over 90%, even if he hasn’t scored or assisted.
His performances have been understated and it hasn’t been until he’s out of the side that supporters have realised what they’ve missed.
They decided that his absence was felt hard following that victory at Oakwell and they may well be feeling the same way after Shackleton’s display against Derby.
Leeds dominated and should have been out of sight following Mateusz Klich’s penalty. He and his midfield partner had looked dynamic against Daniel Stendel’s team but in a home encounter where the Whites again struggled to get over the line, the same old problems arose.
Marcelo Bielsa ruled Forshaw out of the game last week in his press conference and Shackleton deservedly got another chance to prove what he could do.
The teenager spent some of his playing time at right-back in 2018/19 but Stuart Dallas’ emergence in that role and the imminent return of Luke Ayling suggests he’s unlikely to feature in defence.
So it’s in central midfield where he’ll presumably get minutes, but that will only happen if he now improves and finds a level of consistency.
Shackleton was rather anonymous in midfield and for all of Leeds’ dominance, he couldn’t get into the game.
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He gave the ball away and was dispossessed on two occasions while he registered no tackles, shots or key passes according to WhoScored.
It was a mediocre outing for the 19-year-old who failed to prove himself to Bielsa.
This was a big chance for Shackleton given Forshaw was missing once again but in a game where Leeds were the better side, he was merely a passenger in proceedings.
He played the full 90 minutes which was rather surprising given his efforts during the match.
Bielsa has only made four changes to his starting XI in the Championship this term so he will at least have that on his side next week if the Argentine decides to stick with the same policy of not changing things up.