Leeds United Opinion: Whites would be foolish to fork out £20 million for Jack Harrison
According to The Sun, Leeds United are interested in signing Man City loanee Jack Harrison on a permanent deal ahead of the summer transfer window but the Whites have been left dumbfounded by the Citizens’ asking price for the winger.
The same source claims that Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa would also be open to another loan deal, but with Harrison attracting interest from Premier League clubs, the Yorkshire giants are likely to be blown out of the water.
Leeds would need to shatter their club record fee to sign the winger, who did not produce incredible returns in the Championship this past season by any means. The move, if it materializes, would eclipse the £11 million that the Whites forked out to sign Robbie Fowler from Liverpool back in 2001.
Harrison made 39 appearances for Leeds in the Championship this season as Leeds finished third and narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League.
The 22-year-old chipped in with 4 goals and 3 assists, and while his performances weren’t anywhere near the level that the fans at Elland Road would have expected, Harrison managed to establish himself as one of the first names on Bielsa’s team sheet due to lack of competition for places.
Harrison spent time in the academies of Man United and Liverpool as a youngster and then migrated to the United States to pursue his footballing career. The attacking midfielder rose to prominence in the MLS with New York City before Man City brought him back to England from their sister club back in January 2018.
The 22-year-old impressed for the Citizens during the pre-season tours last summer and was shipped out on loan to Elland Road to gain first-team experience and further his development.
Held in high regard by the hierarchy at Man City, Harrison was expected to compete for a first-team role at the Etihad next season based on his development but things haven’t quite gone according to the script for the talented youngster.
Harrison produced some largely underwhelming performances at Elland Road this term and never really managed to hit the ground running. He did, however, tease the fans with glimpses of his brilliance but that should hardly convince the Whites to splash such a massive amount to secure his services permanently.
Leeds’ pursuit of promotion came to a sorry end in the semi-finals of the playoffs against Derby County, as the Whites blew away a 1-goal advantage from the first leg to lose the second leg 4-2.
They were linked with some high-profile players from foreign leagues prior to the summer transfer window, many of those being former players managed by Bielsa, but the Yorkshire giants would be under pressure to alter their stance in the market now that they are set for another season in the Championship.
It is a no-brainer that they need to look at cheaper and more affordable alternatives to Jack Harrison in the summer and making a renewed attempt to sign Bristol City star Callum O’Dowda would probably be a better choice (h/t Leeds Live).
They have been linked with the Irishman for quite some time now and getting him on board for a significantly lower fee than the quoted £20 million for Harrison would be an excellent solution to the club’s lack of depth in the wide areas.
Moreover, they should focus on the development of Jack Clarke, who enjoyed a wonderful breakthrough season this term.
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Leeds need to look at players who can offer good value for money and they should avoid signing Jack Harrison even if they have the financial resources to do so.