By Mark Smith

29th Jan, 2020 | 7:00pm

'Ignite the fire' - BBC pundit blown away by Leeds ace showing unexpected leadership

Noel Whelan has been blown away by the leadership qualities shown by Leeds United winger Jack Harrison this season.

That isn’t the first trait many Whites fan would associate the 23-year-old with at Elland Road, with his level of performance having raised significantly compared to his last campaign.

Whelan admitted that the Manchester City loanee is one of the first players to try and grab the game by the scruff of the neck if it isn’t going Leeds’ way in the Championship.

Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan claimed that it is great to see those characteristics and that Leeds need more players like that.

“Jack looks settled and happier at the football club,” the BBC pundit said.

“He is one player where you can see leadership. When things aren’t going well he is the one trying to ignite the fire. It is great to see that he feels more relaxed so he can be that leader and get the players going. We need more like that.

“When you come to this stage of the season you need 11 leaders out there. People who are going to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and demand from their own teammates and that sort of character is what you need and what gets you the promotion.”

Harrison has definitely stepped up a gear this season at Elland Road. The winger hasn’t only already been involved in four more goals, but his stats have also improved.

The 23-year-old has averaged more shots on goal this term, as well as nearly double the number of key passes every game [WhoScored] – something that will delight Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline.

If Helder Costa or Ian Poveda can match that level of goal involvements in the remaining games of the campaign, the Whites could potentially have one foot in the Premier League already.

In other Leeds United news, Graeme Le Saux has been blown away by this Whites star this season