Jamie Shackleton reportedly believes his time as a Leeds United player is over after the versatile star spoke out over his reasons for joining Millwall and amid revelations about his move to the Championship club.
The 22-year-old came through the academy ranks at Leeds and went on to appear 80 times for the Whites. The Kippax-born star made 27 of those appearances in the Premier League, but never truly established himself as a regular. Indeed, many of those appearances came off the bench for Leeds during Marcelo Bielsa’s time in charge.
With Leeds boss Jesse Marsch making Shackleton available for a move this summer, it was Millwall who stepped forward to sign him. He’s moved to The Den on a season’s loan and has started nine of their 10 Championship games to date. Gary Rowett’s side currently sit in 13th place, with four wins, a draw and five defeats from those games.
Shackleton says the chance to join the Lions was too good an opportunity to turn down. And the star says admits that getting a regular run of games in his preferred central midfield role helped lure him to south-east London.
“That’s one of the big reasons that I came on loan to put a good run of games together and pick up a nice bit of form,” he told Football League World. “That’s something that has been hard to come by for the last couple of years at Leeds.
“That’s the aim and hopefully, we can continue that.”
It’s since emerged that Millwall have the option to turn his loan move into a permanent transfer next summer.
As such, The Athletic’s Phil Hay claims Shackleton is not expecting to feature for Leeds again.
Jamie Shackleton knows he’s done at Leeds United
Speaking on The Athletic, Hay said that Shackleton “knows that he and the club are almost done”.
Rowett also admits he likes what he’s seen so far of Shackleton, offering a hint that the move could be made permanent.
Speaking in July, he was quick to salute what the player brings to his side.
“He’s got great energy. The beauty for me is that he is a player who offers you energetic, non-stop play in the middle of the pitch. That’s his best position, in my opinion, in one of those three midfield positions – either the two deeper ones or the number 10.
“However, he’s also played at right-back and right-wing-back in the Premier League, so he offers flexibility.”
And speaking to the Southwark News, Shackleton is happy to offer his manager that versatility.
“I enjoy playing both positions. It’s not a case of me preferring one to the other or that I don’t enjoy playing at right-back.
“I’ve probably played more games there last season, so it’s something that I feel I’m comfortable doing. And I enjoy playing there.”
Star not of Premier League quality
Contracted to Leeds until summer 2024, it would be little surprise to see Jamie Shackleton make his move permanent next summer.
And even if Millwall, for whatever reason, don’t take up that option, he appears unlikely to be seen in a Leeds shirt again.
He is a player who gave his all to Leeds and rarely let the side down when given his opportunity. But once Bielsa was sacked, the writing was perhaps on the wall for Shackleton.
Truth be told, he probably just lacks the quality needed to make it in the Premier League. As a midfielder, he is perhaps too sleight and not able to influence a game as strongly as he would like.
And while he offered Leeds cover at right-back, he was third choice at best behind Luke Ayling or Robin Koch. Now the summer signing of Rasmus Kristsensen has further dampened his prospects.
To that end, Leeds will likely let the player move for a fairly modest fee. And the man once branded the Kippax Kaka will no doubt benefit from a permanent move. His career could also really ignite at a club who offer him regular football.