Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton is heading into an uncertain 2023 with his Millwall move not hitting the heights he’d have hoped for.
The Whites sent out a number of players on loan back in the summer, some with the view to develop them into key first-team players, and others to get more minutes and potentially secure a move elsewhere next summer.
The latter of those includes Jamie Shackleton, who joined Charlie Cresswell in moving to Millwall for the 2022/23 campaign.
With the Championship getting back underway in the past week, we take a look at how is Shackleton’s time at the New Den is going…
Is he playing much?
Shackleton has managed 19 appearances in the Championship this season, suggesting he’s a firm part of Gary Rowett’s plans at the club.
However, seven of those have come from the bench and he has recently fallen out of favour somewhat, only making two starts in the last 11 games.
Has he been playing really well?
Rowett has his favourites in the Millwall team, for good reason, and at centre-midfield, Shackleton finds himself behind reliable options in George Saville and Billy Mitchell.
He’s had to play in-between right-wing-back and central midfield, which means he hasn’t been able to nail down consistent play in one position.
Journalist Alex Jones had this verdict on the midfielder, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post:
“He’s a really good technical player. Fantastic on the ball, can spot a good pass and clearly knows the game inside out. You can tell he has Premier League experience, but I worry about his physicality a little bit. You need to be strong and commanding to play in a Championship midfield, but his size means that he can get overrun a little bit.”
Does he have a future at Leeds?
This loan was serving the purpose of giving Shackleton the chance to impress elsewhere, in the hope that he would be able to secure a long-term move too.
That’s why there’s an option to buy in his deal with the Lions, in case he went to South London and excelled.
An outstanding season with the Lions would mean they would be keen to sign him permanently, while even a good, average, or bad season wouldn’t convince Leeds they should keep him in their Premier League group.
Which new deal is most important?
Will Millwall sign him?
Shackleton is only 23 and versatile, and has potential to improve a lot as a player, which Jones outlines could be something for Millwall to consider when discussing their option to buy him:
“I’m sure Millwall would like to keep him because there’s undoubtedly potential for him to develop into a solid top-flight player, but it will really hinge on the transfer fee and whether they believe they can find better value in the transfer window next summer.”