Leeds United may have won 2-0 against Preston on Tuesday night to keep themselves in the race for automatic promotion, but one thing that was particularly alarming about the victory at Deepdale was the sub-par performance of Jack Harrison.
The 22-year-old, who is on loan at Elland Road from Manchester City, has really gotten fans talking this season with some bi-polar displays in Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
After first joining Leeds, it took Harrison a few weeks to get settled into the squad with his first start not coming until the sixth game of the season, which was a 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough in West Yorkshire.
It took a very long time before fans started to actually appreciate the winger, who was widely criticised for his first few appearances in a Leeds shirt.
Harrison was regularly substituted off by Bielsa and replaced by impressive teenager Jack Clarke through the winter and it wasn’t until around February when the two-time England Under-21 international started to put together a good run of form.
He scored what turned out to be the winner against Swansea on February 13 and continued to play well for several weeks after that as it started to look as though the winger was a confidence player who played off the buzz of finding the back of the net.
Harrison has not looked at all great in his last two appearances though, and it is starting to look like the £51,000-a-week [Spotrac] winger is an enigma that not even Bielsa can solve.
Even though the former New York City star has blown hot and cold for most of the campaign, he has remained a key component of Bielsa’s squad by appearing 35 times across all competitions.
Harrison has started 27 times in the Championship this term, but has been substituted off early 16 times, usually when Leeds are struggling to go ahead against a team they should be beating, or losing.
It speaks volumes that when the Whites have their backs against the walls, one of Bielsa’s go-to decisions is to hook Harrison.
Despite the Argentine’s best efforts to show faith in Harrison, the winger has just not shown a consistent run of good form as even though Leeds are flying high in the Championship, his record of three goals and three assists in 32 outings just isn’t good enough for an attacking player.
Harrison is unlikely to get a second season at Elland Road, and he might be lucky if Man City decide to keep him after such a polarising campaign in the second-tier.