Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa announced the starting XI that would come up against Queens Park Rangers in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday last Friday, stating that he wanted to start winger Jack Harrison in a centre-forward position as he obviously believed that he could be a success there, but the experiment went wrong.
With Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford absent and Tyler Roberts starting in a slightly deeper role, Bielsa confirmed that Harrison – who has often struggled to be a regular starter out wide with Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez ahead of him in the pecking order – would play as a No.9, having made an impact and scored when he featured briefly there against Millwall earlier in the season.
The Argentine manager obviously felt that the 22-year-old could carry a goal threat and do the business for the Yorkshire outfit at Elland Road at the weekend, and it was also a big opportunity for the Manchester City loanee to make his mark in the capital.
The England U21 international had scored one goal and provided one assist in 19 appearances in all competitions prior to the meeting with Steve McClaren’s men, with the majority of those outings coming from the substitutes bench.
While Leeds lost the game and crashed out of the FA Cup, Harrison didn’t make the required impact that a centre-forward needs to.
Some may argue that his lack of height is a part of that, but when you look at how Kemar Roofe, who is only an inch taller than he is, has done this term in that role, it can’t really be used as an excuse.
The 22-year-old got through plenty of running and hurt the QPR defence with his speed on occasions, but it wasn’t enough and he never looked like a serious goal threat for his team.
Bielsa may have thought that Harrison could be utilised as a striker in the second-half of the campaign, but if this trial was anything to go by he has been proved completely wrong.
Who are the best away fans in the Championship? Pl>ymaker FC’s Thogden gives his top 10 in the video below…