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Meet Jack Harrison, Leeds’ Wing Wizard

Robin Jones / Contributor

Although the Premier League has been wrapped up for some time, Leeds United is one of the clubs this season that has taken the league by storm in 2020/21.

With the club on the brink of a top 10 finish in their first season back in the top flight, there’s closer attention on Leeds than there has been in quite some time.

One of the players drawing that attention is Jack Harrison, whose story is a true tale of perseverance, traveling abroad and making his way back to England.

Harrison has quickly become one of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League and he’s fully ceasing his opportunity in a system that allows for attacking creativity under Marcelo Bielsa.

History of Harrison

Harrison’s youth career was decorated after being born in Stoke. The Englishman spent time with both Liverpool and Manchester United’s youth systems, but ultimately him and his mother agreed it was best to attend an elite boarding school in the United States at the age of 14.

From there, Harrison quickly became one of the hottest names in the U.S. and would go on to play collegiate football at Wake Forest University, one of the country’s top programs.

Harrison was named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2015, just two seasons before he was selected first overall in Major League Soccer.

New York City FC is where he plied his trade in MLS and benefited from being around the likes of David Villa, Frank Lampard and manager Patrick Vieira.

His time in MLS was short lived though as a move back to Europe was seemingly in the cards for a while given his immense talent.

NYCFC’s parent club, Manchester City, purchased Harrison before loaning him out to Middlesbrough and then Leeds United soon after.

He’s spent his time at Leeds ever since, including helping the side climb back into the Premier League. 

Style of Play

From his early days in college, it was evident that Harrison is a natural winger with a tremendous left foot. 

Harrison’s best when he’s able to get at defenders and use his pace to push the ball past and either cut in for a shot or set up his teammates for goals.

What makes Harrison so promising though is his defensive workrate. He’s a talented two-way player that never concedes once possession is lost and always aims to win the ball back for his side.

What the Future Holds

England is obviously full of tremendous wing talent, which has made Harrison’s journey at the international level difficult to crack into the Three Lions squad.

However, Harrison continues to shine at Leeds at the age of 24 and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t improve upon his already impressive resume. 

Harrison has Leeds in a top 10 position and with a few additional pieces the club could potentially challenge for a spot in Europe next season if they fix some of their defensive deficiencies.

Under Bielsa, Harrison has managed seven goals this season at Leeds, his highest total since joining the club three seasons prior.

With the emergence of himself and Patrick Bamford up front, there’s plenty of young English talent in the works to make Leeds a legitimate contender in the Premier League as squads like Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton go through rough spells.

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