By Mark Smith

17th Jan, 2022 | 4:10pm

Keith Hackett heaps praise on Mike Dean for Jack Harrison joke after Leeds win v West Ham

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Keith Hackett has showered praise on Mike Dean after Sky Sports captured him joking with Leeds United star Jack Harrison.

The ex-Premier League referee hit back at claims that Dean is arrogant, insisting that we need more officials like him.

Dean was spotted pretending to take away the match ball from Harrison after his hat-trick sealed a 3-2 win for the Whites at West Ham.

“Great, isn’t it,” he exclusively told MOT Leeds News.

“Look, he’s an experienced referee coming to the end of his career, and I think he’s often been accused of being arrogant, he’s not.

“He does portray that at times, I think it’s just a nice touch, the player accepts it and it’s human. We need more of it.”

Joker.

Dean will go down as one of the better Premier League referees of his generation, but sometimes he doesn’t help himself.

There were times at the London Stadium where he either made the wrong decision or took far too long to make them – although, he certainly wasn’t helped by the linesmen.

Thankfully, though, it all ended in smiles at the end and as soon as the final whistle went, Dean had a good laugh.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has shared if the Whites are in the ‘advanced’ stages of any January signings