Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch sends Jack Harrison message to Gareth Southgate
Jesse Marsch has urged Gareth Southgate to consider his Leeds United winger Jack Harrison for future England squads after he was overlooked during the international break.
The 25-year-old has yet to be capped for the national team but started the season in sparkling form with a goal and three assists across the opening three Premier League games, leading to transfer speculation, before fading as the team’s results headed south.
But in his first meeting with the media for weeks the Whites boss has revealed what he said to the player about missing out for the recent Nations League games ahead of the World Cup, and sent a message to the Three Lions manager.
Speaking ahead of the Aston Villa game on Sunday (2 October) Marsch said on Friday, via the club’s YouTube channel [24min]: “We spoke about it. And what I said to him is that he should feel good that he’s given himself every chance possible by how he’s played and that the squad for the World Cup has not yet been chosen, the squad is 26, not 23.
“There may be room still for him to continue to play the way he’s playing and find a spot. And he’s still young enough that even if it doesn’t come around this time, he has a big future no matter what.
“Jack is the type of guy who comes every day, whether he’s disappointed, whether he’s proud in a moment, and gives absolutely everything he has to himself, to the team, to everything he does. He’s a pleasure to work with.
“I would urge Gareth [Southgate], I think he knows Jack already, if he needs a guy in the squad that he could count on at any moment, to do whatever it takes, and would also support the entire team, to do well in every moment regardless of whether he’s playing or not, Jack is that guy.
“It’s a pleasure to have him here and I think he’s a great player.”
Had the international break come a couple of weeks earlier there would have been few arguments against including Harrison in the England squad.
But Southgate values continuity, so this close to the tournament it might be an uphill battle to get a look in for those who haven’t been called up so far.
Ivan Toney did get the call for the first time following his hat-trick over United on 3 September, and then didn’t see a minute of action anyway.
Harrison has been subject to sustained interest from Newcastle over a transfer, and is currently a key target for the Whites to get tied down to a new contract.
As so often happens, it might take a big-money move for him to land properly on Southgate’s, or whoever follows’, radar, as was somewhat the case with Jack Grealish.
That is of course a factor working against Leeds when they need to get their star man on a new deal sooner rather than later, otherwise they potentially risk a Kalvin Phillips situation during the second half of the season if he sees the opportunity for greater exposure elsewhere, not that it has worked that way for the now-Manchester City man so far.
In other Leeds United news, Chris Sutton has predicted a positive result for the Whites on their long-awaited return to action.