Leeds United have been told to make signing Jack Harrison their number one priority in the summer as he could be a future England international.
That is the verdict of former Whites forward Noel Whelan, who thinks any move for Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez would be a waste of time. Vazquez, 29, is out of contract at the end of the season. He has rejected the offer of a new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu as it doesn’t meet his wage demands. According to reports, Everton and Leeds are both considering his signing. Mundo Deportivo claim that Everton have put an offer ‘on the table’. Leeds are also a contender to sign him, with Sport revealing he wants €3m a year after tax to move to England.
Whelan though says Marcelo Bielsa should focus his efforts on making Harrison’s three-year loan a permanent move. It’s understood the Whites have a £10m deal in place with Harrison’s parent club Manchester City.
And Whelan insists Leeds need to get the deal done.
He told Football Insider: “He’s still looking like an absolute bargain. He’s only 24. Perfect timing.
“He’s someone who will progress and could have a future England role. He’s gone through a little dip but on the whole, he has been much more consistent. He always produces something.
“I thought the other night against Fulham he was excellent. His work rate was fantastic, he was great on the ball, he set up Bamford’s goal. He looked like he was getting back to the Jack Harrison that we know.
“At £10m, you’re kidding me. Who else are we going to get for that price that’s anywhere near Jack Harrison.”
Harrison has been a key man for Leeds this season, playing 28 times in the league. The former New York Red Bulls man has scored six goals and earned five assists so far this term.
Bamford told he is victim of bias
Meanwhile, former Charlie Austin believes biases towards certain clubs still exist within the England camp – and named Patrick Bamford as the latest victim.
Bamford was left out of England’s squad for the current international break despite his strong form with Leeds. This season, he has 14 goals and six assists from 29 Premier League games. However, Gareth Southgate opted to call up Aston Villa frontman Ollie Watkins instead.
Southgate did consider Bamford, but the Leeds striker will be staying at home instead. He will have to continue his impressive form to convince his international manager otherwise between now and the end of the season.
Many feel Bamford does not deserve to have been overlooked, though. Now, Austin has joined that group, claiming the 27-year-old has found himself in a similar predicament to the one he was once in.
Former Premier League striker Austin scored 18 Premier League goals for QPR despite them suffering relegation in 2014-15. He was called up to the England squad for two international fixtures at the end of that season, but did not play in either.
Now back at QPR, on loan from West Brom, Austin has sympathised with Bamford for his omission from the squad.
The striker claims players at the biggest clubs still get preferential treatment from the England setup.
“I think that goes against a lot of people,” Austin told talkSPORT.
“That’s going against Patrick Bamford right now, because that’s football snobbery. It’s just the way it is. Sometimes faces don’t fit.
“What has he done not to be called up?
“There is (favouritism to bigger clubs). Eric Dier has been called up, has he done enough to be called up? Or are you calling him up because he plays for Tottenham?”