Leeds’ Jack Harrison has reportedly left the door open to a move from Elland Road, with Newcastle circling around the winger.
What’s the word?
That’s according to Dean Jones, who had the following to say to GIVEMESPORT:
“I think it’s just the fact that he’s available at a time when they weren’t expecting it.
“Jack Harrison is willing to consider options at the moment, which I don’t think people thought would happen if Leeds stayed up.”
It is suggested that Harrison had prepared for a move away from Elland Road in preparation for relegation, with other reports noting Newcastle as one interested party.
More important than Raphinha
Harrison played a huge role in Leeds’ survival bid last season, and despite Raphinha earning all the plaudits, the Englishman only netted one less goal than the Brazilian in all competitions.
With the way Leeds have played under Bielsa and now Marsch, perhaps Harrison staying at Elland Road could be more important than tempting Raphinha to stick around. His play style makes him a perfect Leeds player, and his stats clearly back up this hard work.
Harrison’s eight league goals, including his last gasp winner at Brentford on the final day to secure safety, have kept Leeds afloat this season.
His capability to score big goals cannot be understated, as his hat-trick away to West Ham earned the Whites another unlikely three points back in January.
The 25-year-old’s underlying stats further compound his importance to the way Leeds play, as he ranks in the 94th percentile for clearances and the 91st percentile for blocks per 90. His willingness to do the dirty work and still contribute offensively is astounding.
Conversely, Raphinha only sits in the 76th percentile for clearances, and below Harrison for blocks per 90. He still can do the dirty work, but it is clear that his English counterpart enjoys the gritty side of the game slightly more than the South American.
Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has heaped praise on the winger throughout the season, noting of his impressive “workman-like” display at West Ham.
He dubbed the £13.5m-rated dynamo a “brilliant player” following this result and his remarkable hat trick, and these quotes perfectly encompass what Harrison is all about. Hard work with a clinical edge, something emphasised by the American head coach himself.
“I followed Leeds so I could see Jack. I’ve followed players from MLS and their adaptation. I could see Jack had taken a lot of new responsibility here. He was always the type of player after the game was always very respectable and would shake your hand,” Marsch said of Harrison during their time against each other in the MLS (via LeedsLive).
“He can run all day. He is explosive, he’s effective in 1-v-1s, he’s dangerous, he’s smart.”
To lose Raphinha would be damaging, but the hefty fee they would receive would go a long way to being able to replace him. If Harrison was to leave, for likely significantly less money, the negative effect it might have on Leeds’ play style could be irreversible.
In other news, Marsch eyes Raphinha replacement with Leeds swoop for “unplayable” £18m-rated monster.