Former England international Danny Mills has offered his thoughts on Leeds United activating our option to buy Manchester City winger Jack Harrison.
Harrison returned to Elland Road for a second straight season of Championship football on loan from the Sky Blues last summer, but unlike his original temporary terms, Pep Guardiola’s Premier League side also agreed to a clause for a potential permanent deal.
The clause becomes active at the close of the 2019/20 season and is believed to be worth £8million, representing a fall of nearly 47% on the fee City had demanded from any potential suitor last year.
City felt Harrison was worth between £15m and £20m after his first season on loan under Marcelo Bielsa, but failed to find anyone willing to offer close to that before agreeing to loan us the £15,000-per-week winger for a second term.
Mills still doubts that Harrison is worth anywhere near the £15m Man City requested, let alone £20m, but would more than happily see his former club pay £8m to obtain someone who has been involved in 11 Championship goals (five scored, six assisted) so far this season.
“At the end of last season, I think Manchester City wanted £15million for him, he is good but he has not got a pack of diamonds in his pocket,” Mills told Football Insider.
“That was a little bit expensive for how well he had done. Now, the option at £8million is very viable indeed.
Would you spend £8m on Harrison this summer?
“He reminds me of Jason Wilcox. He is going to hug the touchline, get good crosses into the box and works his socks off. Very rarely lets you down. He is of that ilk. He is not the type of player that will get you 15 goals a season but what he gives you is width and work rate.
“At £8million, whether it is Premier League or Championship, it is a really good buy.”
Having weighed up the benefits and fee needed to sign Harrison permanently, Mills came to the conclusion that our option to buy represents good value – and it’s hard to argue with him.
Sure, corners of the fanbase continue to be left underwhelmed by the 23-year-old’s performances on occasion, but no supporter can deny that Harrison has played a key role in our efforts towards clinching promotion into the top-flight.
His creative impact in our win over Reading last month also received positive remarks online, as he was once again one of the most influential figures having carved out the most chances to score of all players who featured.
That has been a frequent trend of our 2019/20 Championship term as Harrison has been credited with the joint-most assists (six) among the first-team, while creating the highest number of big chances to score (14), delivering the second-most accurate crosses (36) and has completed 359 passes in the final third of the pitch, per Sofa Score.
If Director of Football Victor Orta is to spend £8m on anyone this summer, not spending it on Harrison could easily be a mistake which haunts the Spaniard.
In other Leeds United news, a summer free agent has been tipped to earn a new contract at Elland Road.