Former Leeds United midfielder Michael Brown has tipped Marcelo Bielsa to urge Victor Orta to sign Manchester City loanee Jack Harrison in a permanent deal this summer.
Harrison has started all 36 of our Championship fixtures thus far this term, in which he has contributed the squad’s most assists (six), created the most big chances to score (14), played the most key balls (73) and delivered the second-most accurate crosses (36), per Sofa Score data.
The 23-year-old has even written his name on the scoresheet five times this season, which only leading ‘scorer Patrick Bamford (12) and Pablo Hernandez (six) can better among those at Elland Road.
United are at risk of losing Harrison at the end of the campaign as a result of only signing the Stoke-on-Trent-born forward on loan last summer, though we are in possession of an £8million option-to-buy clause that Brown expects Bielsa will urge Director of Football Orta to trigger as soon as possible.
“He’s developing,” Brown told Football Insider. “It obviously was a loan deal [where] you’re thinking: ‘What type of player are we going to get?’
“Now, he’s really, really come on, he’s getting stronger and stronger. It’s one of those, once you start winning and you start getting a feel for it, your experience grows.
“You know when and why you made better decisions, he’s playing more. He seems to be really, really coming on. He’s one to watch. If he’s someone who’s playing week in, week out, he’s someone you’ll want in and around your squad, wherever that might be.
“It is a loan deal and it might not be in your control, but when someone plays like he does, then I’m sure Marcelo Bielsa would love to have him in his squad for next season, for sure.”
Would £8m for Harrison be good value for money?
Yes, but only in Premier League
No, he isn't worth it
Despite Harrison’s relentless creativity in West Yorkshire during a season in which we hope will end with promotion into the Premier League, the 5 ft 8 winger has not been involved in the scoring since our 5-4 win at Birmingham City on December 29.
Bielsa has not shied from naming the former England U21 international in his starting plans, but Harrison has now gone 11 league outings without a goal or an assist – even though he produced five key balls against Nottingham Forest and Reading, four against Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Hull City, three against West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic and one against Brentford and Middlesbrough. The only game where he failed to register a single key pass was our 1-0 defeat away to Queens Park Rangers, per WhoScored data.
His teammates are rather letting Harrison down when it comes to his productivity, and it would be no wonder if Bielsa were to urge Orta to sign the former Manchester United academy player at the close of the campaign.
In other Leeds United news, a rarely-seen player has been backed to hand Bielsa doubt over the future of a first-team regular.