Position: Central Midfielder/Wide Midfielder
Age: 21 *
At Club Since: N/A (Academy Product)
Total Club League Appearances (Goals): 63(7) *
A key part of our League Two promotion winning side as someone who held the shape of the side well on the left of midfield, the step-up to League One has seen Shipley relegated to a less important role. As a wide player, unless Shipley adds more goals to his game, he’s probably always going to be a bit-part player due to a need to have more game-deciding players in that role against better defenders. What has been seen more recently is that Shipley’s future lays in central midfield, where his energy and technique on the ball are more useful features.
Heading into the coming season, Shipley’s opportunity to further develop rests with whether Tom Bayliss remains at the club. Although Shipley and Bayliss could be paired together in central midfield, there is a sense that it would shackle at least one of them with greater defensive responsibilities than they can carry. While both could be played together in a midfield three, neither has added enough goals to their game to justify taking a forward out of the side in order to play them in such a system. Regardless of whether Bayliss stays or leaves to hand Shipley a longer run in the side in his preferred position, the coming season is important for him in his development to force his way into the side and impact games in a way he’s yet to really do.
*As of 01/07/2019