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Leeds: Victor Orta set to open Jack Harrison talks

Leeds United are set to open new contract talks with in-form winger Jack Harrison.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Football Insider, who claim that, after rejecting a £20m+ offer from Newcastle United for the 25-year-old in the summer transfer window, Victor Orta and Jesse Marsch are now ready to open contract talks with the former England U21 international in a bid to extend his stay at Elland Road.

The report goes on to state that, with just 16 months remaining on Harrison’s current deal, coupled with Newcastle’s reported interest in launching a fresh move for the attacker in January, Orta and Marsch are hoping the forward pens an extension that not only deters interest in his services but also reflects his status as a key member of the Whites first team squad.

Orta must act

Following a summer of uncertainty concerning Harrison’s future at Leeds, the 25-year-old has quickly proven exactly why Orta was reported to be demanding a figure in the region of £60m in order to consider parting with the winger ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Indeed, over his six Premier League appearances so far this season, the £25.2m-rated forward has been in exceptional attacking form, having already scored one goal, registered three assists – the joint third-most in the league – and created four big chances for his teammates – also the joint third-most in the division.

The £15k-per-week forward has also made a total of 18 key passes – with only Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (25) and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (24) having made more than the Englishman – and completed 14 dribbles – ranking him joint sixth in the league, alongside Newcastle United’s Allan Saint-Maximin and Liverpool’s Luis Diaz.

These returns have seen the former New York City FC starlet average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.22, not only ranking him as Marsch’s second-best performer in the league but also as the 36th-best player in the English top flight as a whole thus far in 2022/23.

Furthermore, the 25-year-old is also incredibly effective in a defensive capacity, with FBref ranking Harrison in the top 3% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues for blocks per 90, as well as the top 8% for clearances, the top 14% for pressures, the top 15% for tackles and the top 17% for interceptions over the last 365 days.

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As such, considering just how important the Englishman is within the Whites’ first-team squad, it would appear extremely advisable for Orta to do everything in his power to tie Harrison down to a new deal at Elland Road – as losing the winger this winter would undoubtedly come as a devastating blow to Marsch and his side.

Indeed, while it is true that the Whites’ reported January transfer target Cody Gakpo would represent an exceptional addition – having scored an astonishing ten goals and provided nine assists over 13 fixtures for PSV Eindhoven this season – it is clear to see that Leeds already possess “one of the best wingers in the Premier League” – in the words of Frank Lampard – and should do everything they can to keep a hold of him.