Interest in Leeds United winger Jack Harrison is hotting up ahead of the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Telegraph, who revealed that, having caught the eye of Eddie Howe, Newcastle United look primed to make a move for the 25-year-old in the coming months. The Whites are believed to be demanding a figure in the region of £30m in order to part with the winger this summer.
Further reports have also claimed that Tottenham Hotspur are keeping a very close eye on the situation of the former England under-21 international ahead of a potential move of their own, although The Telegraph report suggests it is very much the Magpies who are leading the race for the former Manchester City starlet.
While it is true that the vast majority of the Leeds squad struggled for form in 2021/22 – Raphinha, Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas were the only players to have maintained their impressive performance levels of the season prior – Harrison’s output over the course of the latest Premier League campaign was particularly concerning.
Indeed, it is true that the £17m-rated forward’s eight league goals ranked him as the Whites’ second-highest scorer in the top flight. However, when looking slightly deeper at the numbers, it is clear to see that the 25-year-old was simply not good enough in the final third.
According to FBRef data, the £60k-per-week talent ranks in the bottom 15% of wingers and attacking midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for non-penalty xG per 90, and also in the bottom 15% for shots, the bottom 5% for assists, the bottom 6% for xA, the bottom 9% for npxG+xA and the bottom 25% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days.
The winger, who Anthony Lewis dubbed Leeds’ “worst signing” and Jake Winderman labelled “hellaciously bad“, also ranks in the bottom 38% for passes attempted per 90, in addition to the bottom 7% for pass completion, the bottom 40% for touches in the opposition penalty area and the bottom 29% for progressive passes received over the past 12 months.
Also, with it being rumoured that Jesse Marsch is looking to set Leeds up in his favoured 4-2-2-2 formation next season, the potential of Harrison no longer being considered a guaranteed starter at Elland Road in the upcoming campaign is very real.
As such, considering the 25-year-old’s below-par returns last time out, his hefty weekly wage and Marsch’s preference to play with two number 10s, Victor Orta simply must cash in on the forward if the club were to receive an offer anywhere near £30m for him this summer..