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Graham Smyth drops transfer insight over Leeds United’s quest for midfielder

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Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton is facing a drop down the pecking order at Elland Road as the search for a new midfielder goes on.

The Whites have a few areas to attend to in the transfer market this summer, with Marcelo Bielsa knowing that key recruitments could see the side challenge for Europe if they keep up their momentum.

The current side have proven their credentials very well, but the lack of strength in depth behind the starting lineup is something that ought to be addressed.

With Leeds coming into the top flight with a fairly thin squad, some youngsters managed to show their talents through the season.

Jamie Shackleton’s performance away to Aston Villa was one that proved the central midfielder’s immense talent, but his influence on the team completely vanished in 2021.

Now, with Leeds searching for a midfielder this summer, he looks like he’s staring at even less chance of a first-team nod.

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth likened the situation to that of Olly Casey, who has just departed Leeds on a permanent deal to Blackpool recently.

He wrote:

Jamie Shackleton is almost exactly a year older than (Oliver) Casey and also penned a new deal at Elland Road last summer. The pathway to the first team was a lot clearer for Shackleton than the departed defender at that time, thanks to 22 Championship appearances in the title-winning season.

As the Whites plot the capture of another central midfielder, with Stuart Dallas and Klich already ahead of Shackleton in that position and with Cody Drameh the obvious long-term successor to Luke Ayling at right-back, the paucity of the local lad’s match minutes in the second half of last season has left the pathway looking a little less clear.

It’s hard to see where he gets back into the lineup at the moment if we do sign a quality midfielder, because that would probably keep him out of the matchday squad altogether.

He’s definitely got something to offer to us and it’s a shame he hasn’t been able to kick on from a few standout performances in the senior team.

That being said, selling him would be a mistake given that he’s a very talented player and he’s still only 21-years-old.

He’s got time on his side and maybe a loan move away could be huge for him, because there’ll be a host of Championship clubs that would be queueing up for him if they knew he was available.

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.