Leeds United winger Jack Harrison is of ‘genuine interest’ to Newcastle United this summer, according to The Athletic’s Chris Waugh.
The Lowdown: Harrison’s 2021/22 season
Whilst not the standout player for the Whites last season (that was surely Raphinha), the 25-year-old Stoke native made 35 appearances in the Premier League, contributing eight goals to his team’s campaign.
However, with the departures of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips from Elland Road this summer, Leeds have lost two of their most important players.
Therefore, Harrison will be expected to step up in their absence, playing a more pivotal role which could be crucial to Jesse Marsch’s chances of success in 2022/23.
The Latest: Newcastle interested in Harrison
After a number of reports suggested that Newcastle had made a bid for the Leeds winger, Waugh has now clarified the Tyneside’s club position on the transfer.
Taking to Twitter, the reliable journalist claimed: “Jack Harrison is of genuine interest to #NUFC – but #LUFC are not encouraging bidding in the way they did with Raphinha & Kalvin Phillips.”
According to the accompanying report, the Magpies’ £25m valuation of the player falls short of Leeds’ £35m price tag.
The Verdict: Move seems unlikely
When looking at the 25-year-old’s underlying statistics, it is easy to see why Marsch is so intent on keeping hold of the player.
When compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year, Harrison ranks in the 94th percentile for clearances, the 91st percentile for blocks and the 85th percentile for tackles (via FBRef).
Should Newcastle sign Harrison?
During a fantastic run of form for the player last season, Toffees manager Frank Lampard hailed the attacker as “one of the best wingers in the league”.
With Raphinha previously being Leeds’ most crucial winger, his move to Barcelona suggests it is unlikely that Marsch will allow Harrison to leave this summer, with a bigger role expected to be assumed for the 2022/23 campaign.
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