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Leeds should consider Jamie Shackleton as replacement for reportedly departing Eunan O'Kane

Eunan O'Kane of Leeds United leaves the field after being sent off during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Leeds United at Portman Road on January 13, 2018 in...

Leeds United should turn to academy prospect Jamie Shackleton to replace Eunan O'Kane amid reports he will leave Elland Road.

LOSC Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on before the pre-season friendly match between Atalanta BC and LOSC Lille at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on July 26, 2017 in Bergamo, Italy.

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.

O’Kane, 27, is expected to depart Elland Road in this transfer window, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

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.

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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.

Eunan O'Kane of Leeds United is tackled by Che Adams of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Leeds United at St Andrews (stadium) on March 3,...

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.

LOSC Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa shouts to his players during the pre-season friendly match between Atalanta BC and LOSC Lille at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on July 26, 2017 in Bergamo,...

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.

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