Leeds narrowly lost to Wolves on Friday but we played well and there were multiple positives, including the performance of Jamie Shackleton.
The youngster had the big responsibility of helping out with the Kalvin Phillips role and he had a good audition.
Phillips has missed our last two games and with his return date still unclear we may have to plan for Southampton without him.
We think Bielsa should continue to utilise the same tactics in the next game if Phillips is out, rather Pascal Struijk, who started in that position against Arsenal.
Firstly, Struijk is much better playing at centre-back, and Shackleton’s passing range provides a platform to launch attacks.
A return of 96% pass accuracy shows how efficient he was against Wolves, and he impressively gave the ball away just once, per SofaScore.
Bielsa will likely have taken note of that as it was key to dominating Wolves with 59% possession.
Shackleton helped to push the team up the pitch with 86% forward passes completed and two passes to the final third, per WyScout.
That helped us to 18 shots and with some better finishing we easily could have won – particularly given the luck of Wolves’ goal.
Added to that, Shackleton provided great energy and covers more ground in the defensive midfield role than Struijk does.
There are of course areas in his game that Shackleton needs to work on.
For example, on Friday he was dribbled past twice and he failed to make an interception (SofaScore).
He is far from the complete product of Phillips, therefore, but with more games in midfield he should become more familiar with the role.
We hope he takes confidence from his performance against Molineux despite being substituted.
If he features next week it will be his third consecutive start so we should begin to see his partnership with Mateusz Klich develop.
The 21-year-old should aim to be a little more adventurous too, as he showed against Wolves that he is almost faultless with his passing.
In other Leeds United news, ’10x more impact than Shack’, ‘Excellent’ – Some Leeds fans wowed by star despite loss v Wolves.