It has been an excruciating month to be a Leeds United supporter, hasn’t it?
The Whites looked almost certain to end their 15-year wait for Premier League football in April after beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Elland Road yet with only a handful of games left to play in the Championship, they capitulated and thus missed out on an automatic promotion place.
After being consigned to the play-offs, Marcelo Bielsa’s side had to pick themselves up for their semi-final clash with Derby County and it looked as if they had done just that when they beat their opponents 1-0 in the first leg on May 11th.
However, with the pressure firmly on them to deliver in-front of their own fans in the reverse fixture, Leeds were unable to live up to expectations as they suffered a gut-wrenching 4-2 defeat to the Rams which eliminated them from the competition.
Now facing yet another year in the second tier, the Whites will undoubtedly need to improve their squad in the summer if they are to challenge for promotion again next season and so it is of little surprise that they have already been linked a permanent move for Jack Harrison.
According to The Sun, Leeds are reportedly interested in signing the winger from Manchester City when the transfer window opens in July after being impressed with his performances whilst on loan at the club last season. Yet with the reigning Premier League champions valuing Harrison at £20m, the Whites may have to think twice about bringing him back to West Yorkshire.
Keeping this rumour in mind, let’s compare Harrison with one of Leeds’ current midfielders…
Having spent the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign with the Whites, it is fair to say that Jack Harrison ultimately failed to live up to the hype that initially surrounded his move from City last summer.
Although the England under-21 international did produce several stand-out performances for his side, a lack of consistency resulted in him score just four goals in the Championship, a return which leaves a lot to be desired.
When you consider the extortionate fee that it would cost Leeds to secure Harrison’s services, it is clear that they should be looking elsewhere for a winger this summer.
TT GRADE: C+
Since joining the Whites in 2017 from Swiss side Lugano, Ezgjan Alioski has established himself as a regular at Elland Road having missed just six league fixtures over the past two seasons.
Despite his preferred position being on the wing, the £3.6m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) demonstrated an outstanding level of versatility for Leeds when asked to fill-in at full-back by Marcelo Bielsa during Barry Douglas’ absence from the team.
A key member of the squad, it could be argued that if Alioski had not suffered a season-ending injury against Brentford in April, the Whites may well have been preparing for a play-off final showdown with Aston Villa this weekend.
TT GRADE: B+
Despite Jack Harrison clearly possessing a number of appealing attributes, Leeds should not be considering a permanent switch for the City winger as in the form of Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez, they already have better options to choose from in his position.
By using the funds available to him wisely this summer, there is no reason why Bielsa cannot lead his side to glory next season after experiencing a fantastic first year in charge at Elland Road.
Leeds fans, do you think Bielsa should make a move for Harrison when the transfer window opens in July? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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