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Leeds: Dean Jones drops Harrison Ashby update

Leeds United remain interested in a deal to bring Harrison Ashby to Elland Road in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to Dean Jones, with the transfer insider revealing in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that, despite missing out on a deadline-day deal for the West Ham United right-back, Victor Orta nevertheless remains keen on the idea of making a move for the 20-year-old this winter.

However, Jones went on to state that whether or not the Whites’ director of football will be successful in his potential swoop for the defender will depend on how David Moyes’ side approach the Scotland U21’s contract situation – with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

When asked whether Leeds retain an interest in Ashby, the journalist said:

“They do still like him. I think, from here, it’s going to depend on how West Ham decide to deal with him – whether they reassess his contract situation and they can convince him of their own plans. There’s a lot to be sorted out there over the next few months.”

“Tremendous prospect”

While it is true that Jesse Marsch currently has a plethora of options at right-back – with the American manager being able to call upon the likes of Luke Ayling, Rasmus Kristensen and Cody Drameh in the position – considering just how talented a prospect the West Ham full-back very much looks to be, he would nonetheless appear a tremendous signing for Orta to get over the line.

Indeed, the £270k-rated defender highly impressed over his 21 Premier League 2 appearances for West Ham’s U23 side last season, scoring two goals and providing his teammates with five assists, while the Scot also caught the eye over his three fixtures in the EFL Trophy, scoring one goal and registering one assist in the cup competition.

These returns saw the versatile right-back – who can also operate from right midfield and at centre-back – earn a number of call-ups to Moyes’ first-team squad, with the 59-year-old manager handing Ashby both his Premier League and Europa League debuts over the course of the 2022/23 campaign.

Furthermore, it is evident that the 20-year-old is extremely highly thought of in east London, with The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas dubbing the defender as “one to watch” on the U Irons podcast back in 2020, before Sam Delaney added of the youngster:

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“He’s big as well. He’s like a big unit. He’s only young, but he’s like a giant. Usually, you’re used to seeing smaller players in those wing-back positions, but he looked big, strong, he was very fearless, decent on the ball.”

However, it is not only at club level that Ashby has caught the eye, with Scotland U21 manager Scot Gemmill revealing back in August of last year that the Hammers starlet was keeping Liverpool defender Calvin Ramsay out of his squad:

“Of course Calvin is capable of playing but it’s about what else we’ve got. Harrison Ashby isn’t eligible to go and play for the U19s and he’s a tremendous prospect who is really highly regarded at West Ham.”

However, with reports suggesting that Ashby could be set to reject the Hammers’ potential offer of a new deal prior to the January transfer window, it would appear as if the east London club could be set to lose the defender on a deal worth around £2.5m this winter – or perhaps even on a free at the end of the current campaign.

Either way, it is not difficult to understand why Orta remains keen on a move for Ashby, as, with the 31-year-old Ayling getting no younger and the future of Drameh still appearing to be somewhat up in the air, the youngster would quite clearly be a tremendous signing for the Spaniard to add to Marsch’s first-team squad in the winter market.