As per reports from the Daily Mail, 20-year old attacker Jack Harrison, who plies his trade in USA’s Major League Soccer, with New York City FC, is being closely monitored by Premier League clubs Everton, Leicester City and newbies Brighton & Hove Albion.
The winger was one of the stand-out players for the New York side, as they saw their season end in disappointment, losing out in the MLS Playoffs to Columbus Crew. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed though, as he was recently called up to the England U-21 side and this seems to have put the aforementioned Premier League clubs on high alert, as they look to strengthen their squads in the summer.
With as many as three top-flight clubs interested in the youngster, here we bring you the lowdown on Jack Harrison;
Born on 20 November 1996, in Stoke-on-Trent, Harrison had spent a very short time at the Liverpool academy when he was a seven-year-old, before deciding to join the Academy of Manchester United in 2003. The winger spent seven years with the English giants and moved to the United States of America in 2010, where he joined the Berkshire School in Massachusetts.
Harrison used to play for the Manhattan Soccer Club – an affiliate of the New York City FC between 2013 and 2015, while also starring in college football – he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year for college soccer in 2015.
In the 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick, Chicago Fire drafted him in as the #1 overall pick and then traded him to New York City as the #4 overall pick and allocation money. However, shortly after the draft was done, Harrison picked up a pelvic injury that sidelined him for the first three months of his debut season in the MLS.
The winger had to wait until 20th May 2016 to make his professional debut, which came as a substitute in the 0-7 loss to the New York Red Bulls. Only a couple weeks later, Harrison scored his first goal for NYCFC, against Real Salt Lake and went on to finish the season with 4 goals from 23 appearances. He was nominated for the MLS Rookie of the Year award but did not win. Harrison continued his rise in his second season in the MLS, starring with 10 goals and 3 assists across all competitions in 2017.
His exploits saw him earn a call-up to the England U-21 national team last month. Harrison made his debut for the Three Lions’ youth team, coming on as a substitute against Scotland on October 6, 2017, and has featured once more after that game.
Style of Play
A right-sided winger by trade, Harrison is known for his pace and dribbling abilities and the ease with which he can get past his man down the flanks. The 20-year old’s close control when on the ball is exceptional and each time he runs at an opponent with the ball, it makes for exciting action. And his blistering ground speed makes him a huge asset to have, especially in counter-attacks.
Capable of some fancy skills, the winger also is an intelligent operator and knows how to create spaces for himself and his teammates with his movement. And as seen by his goal tally this season, it is also clear that Harrison has a keen eye for a goal and can be a major threat in attack, with his directness and goal-scoring instincts.
Not just that, the youngster also works extremely hard when his team are without possession and is someone who can force a mistake from the opposition with his pressing and efforts off the ball.
As is with many flair players at this age, at times, Harrison tends to overdo things a little bit on occasions, which ends up with turning over of possession. But, it is a normal trait with any young winger and his decision-making and awareness will only get better with experience under his belt.
What Does the Future Hold?
At 20 years of age, Harrison is showing all signs of developing into a fine wide player and all the clubs interested in him, be it Everton, Leicester or Brighton will be extremely benefitted by his acquisition, as he is someone who looks to ready to make an immediate impact and is on the rise.
The Daily Mail claims that Harrison is valued in the range of £6 million and still has two years left on his contract with New York City FC. But, a return to England and a chance to play in one of the best competitions in world football will sure be too hard to turn down for the youngster.