Leeds United’s preparations for their Premier League return received a boost this week as academy graduate Jamie Shackleton signed an extended deal with the club.
The young midfielder put pen to paper on a new four year deal to secure his long-term future with Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The news continues a fantastic couple of weeks for Shackleton. The 20-year-old not only celebrated promotion with his local club, but also found the back of the net twice in Leeds’ final two games of the season - scoring his first goal for the club and then his first goal at Elland Road.
Shackleton was clearly delighted to commit to his boyhood club, telling leedsunited.com, “it’s an amazing feeling to have another four years at this club."
'I’ve been at this club forever really in terms of my life.'
“I joined aged seven along with Robbie Gotts and Alfie McCalmont and we’ve been in the same team from the very start, coming through all the age groups. We’re really close mates and for us all to be out there holding the Championship trophy together a few weeks ago was a special moment for us.”
The young box-to-box midfielder made 22 appearances in the league last season, being mainly used a substitute.
He brought freshness and energy late in games.
With Bielsa preferring to operate with a smaller squad, Shackleton will no doubt get more game time in the Premier League next season, providing competition for the likes of Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez in the centre of midfield.
Shackleton’s energy and running capability means he has no issues with playing in Bielsa’s high-pressure system and now he has started adding goals to his game, his future at the club looks very bright indeed.
Whilst his childhood friends Gotts and McCalmont may be sent out on loan to aid their development, there is no doubting that Shackleton can now class himself as a Premier League footballer.