By Adefunmiloye Alani

7th Nov, 2021 | 10:15am

Phil Hay: Shackleton sees himself as a midfielder despite right-back duties

Leeds United right-back Cody Drameh could be handed his first Premier League start against Leicester City on Sunday, reports Phil Hay.

Jamie Shackleton has featured in the position with Luke Ayling still out injured, but The Athletic journalist has claimed that while Marcelo Bielsa sees him as a right-back, the 22-year-old prefers playing in central midfield.

Hay expects the versatile Leeds man to eventually become a mainstay in the middle of the park at Elland Road or elsewhere going forward.

He wrote on the website during the Q and A session in the build-up to the game: “It might be that Drameh has to start if Shackleton isn’t 100 per cent.

“Shackleton was still a doubt on Friday. It feels with Bielsa that he sees Shackleton more as a right-back than a midfielder, but I know that Shackleton thinks of himself as a centre-mid.

“I think that’s where he’ll play longer term, either at Leeds or somewhere else.”

Dilemma?

Bielsa changed Kalvin Phillips position upon his arrival at Yorkshire some three years ago, and it has worked magic, with the midfielder establishing himself as a key player for both club and country.

While Shackleton should see that as inspiration, the fact remains that the Leeds head coach only slightly tweaked the positioning of the England international ace.

While his job description is now different, Phillips has continued to play in the middle of the park, but things are different in Shackleton’s case.

He is having to play as a full-back, and while his pace and defensive abilities should help him feel at home in the position, it appears he has other ideas.

It will be interesting to see what happens going forward, but the Leeds academy graduate has an advantage that will always come in handy given his ability to play in two positions.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has detailed where the Whites expect fresh financial shot in the arm amid major £50m call.