With just nine games left this season, it looks as though Leeds United may finally find their way back to the promised land – the Premier League.
Thy currently top the Championship by one point from West Bromwich Albion but, more importantly, they are now seven points clear of Fulham in third place, meaning that they are in a strong position to get promoted automatically.
The EFL delay until April 30th at the very earliest, though, has thrown the whole situation into uncertainty.
Whilst they will not want to plan too far ahead into the future considering they were also within touching distance of going up last season, they will have an eye on their summer planning.
One of those who could be making a permanent move to Elland Road is Jack Harrison – he is currently on loan with the Whites, but he wants to stay in Yorkshire and could be available for a fee just under £10m.
Here are three reasons why Leeds must get a deal over the line…
The Manchester City loanee’s performances last year were a little erratic – in 42 appearances in all competitions, he managed four goals and four assists – and there were few who seemed eager to have return for a second spell.
This season, though, there has been a significant improvement – he has five goals and seven assists already, and has featured in every single league match to date. The difference in his WhoScored ratings say it all – last term, he averaged 6.61 in the Championship, and that number is now at 7.04 this season.
Given he has been an ever-present in the league for Marcelo Bielsa this term, it is clear that Harrison is an important member of the squad. Leeds, therefore, must look to keep him – fortunately, he won’t set them back an absurd amount either.
With a potential transfer fee of just under £10m, he could well be a bargain. That would be considerably less than other signings made when they were in the Premier League before, such as Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Keane – even though transfer prices have rocketed since the 2000s – and he would come even cheaper than Helder Costa, who will cost £15m.
Perhaps the most important thing is that he is now settled in at the club.
This is his second loan spell with Leeds from the Citizens – Bielsa and his teammates have now had over 18 months to get used to him, and that is beginning to show with the improvement in his performances.
Having solidity and reliability in the top tier, should they get promoted, would be absolutely vital to their survival amongst the elite.
That is just one of the reasons why Victor Orta should look to secure his long-term signature.