By Pranav Shahaney

15th Sep, 2021 | 8:02am

Marcelo Bielsa may turn to Jamie Shackleton v Newcastle

Leeds United may start Jamie Shackleton against Newcastle on Friday given their recent defensive crisis, according to LeedsLive.

Pascal Struijk will be suspended if his ban isn’t overturned after receiving a straight red card against Liverpool on Sunday while Diego Llorente may also not be risked after suffering a hamstring injury in the game.

Robin Koch will also be unavailable as he’s been ruled out of action due to a pelvic injury.

These developments could see Bielsa turn to Shackleton and hand him a rare start against the Magpies as Luke Ayling would be the likely option to deploy at centre-back

Right move?

A midfielder by trade, much like a number of players at Elland Road, Shackleton is capable of playing in a plethora of positions.

In comparison to Stuart Dallas, he offers more athleticism which could be vital as Leeds often look to play a higher line.

This leaves space in behind for the opponent attackers to make runs into and having someone like Shackleton to cover up will help a great deal.

Bielsa is not afraid to throw players into the mix if he trusts them and is known to be a fan of the 21-year-old.

Bournemouth wanted to sign him on loan this summer, but the Argentine opted against letting him leave, which suggests that first-team opportunities could be in the offing.

It remains to be seen whether the player, Bielsa referred to as “energetic” last season [LeedsLive], is entrusted with a starting berth on Friday night.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Made me sick’ – Michael Owen shocked by ‘Worrying’ Leeds incident v Liverpool