Leeds are reportedly set to lose senior midfielder Eunan O’Kane this summer and that could open the door for the club to promote the next rising star from the academy.
The Irish central midfielder received a fair amount of criticism last season from supporters for his performances, but he still managed 32 appearances in the league and is one of the more experienced members in the group.
O’Kane’s imminent exit is set to be part of a restructure by manager Marcelo Bielsa, as he looks to build a team that can compete for promotion in the Championship.
The Whites have become renowned for producing young talents over the years, with Tom Pearce, Kalvin Phillips, Ronaldo Vieira and Charlie Taylor just some of the examples in recent times.
They may not need to go out into the transfer market to find O’Kane’s replacement, with rising star Jamie Shackleton worthy of a senior promotion to fill the gap.
The 18-year-old is a tenacious midfielder that has come through the ranks at Elland Road and earned rave reviews at youth level.
Shackleton could be eased into the first team by Bielsa by acting as an understudy to Adam Forshaw and the more experienced midfielder could definitely help show him the ropes.
Leeds of course will have the main objective of competing at the top end of the table next season, but focusing on youth has to be a policy still important to the manager and the Yorkshire club.