Jack Harrison ready to take on added Leeds United responsibility after sealing permanent Elland Road switch

Jack Harrison has set his sights high after finally ending his long wait to become a permanent Leeds United player.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 11:44 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 11:48 am
Leeds United completed the permanent signing of Jack Harrison from Manchester City on Friday. Pic: Getty

The 24-year-old ended a three-year loan spell at Elland Road by putting pen to paper on a deal until the summer of 2024 in West Yorkshire.

United were quick to trigger a clause they held with Manchester City, landing the wide man on a deal worth in the region of £11m.

Harrison has racked up a remarkable 128 appearances - a club record for a loan player - and has been a key member of recent Leeds on-pitch history.

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He is as much a part of the furniture in LS11 under head coach Marcelo Bielsa as the likes of key midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

There has, though, always been something lingering in the background since his switch across the Pennines in 2018.

"It's been in the back of my mind," Harrison said after penning a three-year deal.

"It just makes you wonder if I was actually part of the club, how would it go? But now I'm just excited for the journey and what is to come.

“It’s been a long time coming. It has been a great opportunity to be here and to have finally signed after going through all the history with this club is a great opportunity."

So, what next? Harrison has no plans to take his foot off the gas.

Strong foundations have been set in the Premier League with eight goals and eight assists in a debut top flight season in which he helped Leeds to a top half finish.

"My goals and my standards," Harrison smiled over what changes now he is a Whites player for good.

"I will have to keep pushing to improve as a player and accept more responsibility within the team. As long as I keep pushing myself and working hard like I have been these last three years, that will happen.

"After the first year we know what to expect now [in the Premier League]. We know the feeling week to week. It's not like the Championship where you have a lot of games in a short amount of time.

"You can manage yourself. I think we have to be careful too. A lot of other teams will know how we play and do a lot more studying and analysis to try and negate all the things we're trying to do.

"Working with Marcelo he is always prepared for anything, as you probably imagine. I'm sure we'll be ready for any match this year.

"We have to be optimistic and positive."

Harrison hasn't always had it his own way at Leeds. His debut campaign promised a lot and delivered in doses but fans questioned consistency amid the pressures of regular Championship football, before adding in a promotion race too.

The former Manchester United youth player was featuring in his first full campaign in England after experiencing the rigours of MLS action with New York City - something he believed required an initial adjustment period.

“It hasn’t all been highs," Harrison said.

"I had a rough start here but once I broke through that in the English culture and style of football, I managed to find my way a little bit.

“With the help of my teammates and Marcelo, I worked hard on my craftsmanship and I have seen a lot of improvements, I hope to keep doing that.

"It's not easy coming to play for Leeds United with the passionate fans they demand a lot.

"If you're not giving it to them, they will let you know. I quickly found that out when I first came.

“I think after taking everything on board and going away over the summer, working really hard then coming back, I have just tried to keep on improving every year and the fans have been great with me.

“I’ve always seen this as a great opportunity to learn and develop as a football player.

“With the generosity of Marcelo, I’ve had a lot of playing time so it was a great way for me to improve and continue my career as a player.

“It was an honour to go through these historic moments with the club. The first year in the Premier League was a great success for everyone and it was a pleasure to be a part of that."