Leeds team news: Jack Harrison tipped for new role under Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline

Presenter Joe Wainman has suggested that Jack Harrison could be moved into a central role for Leeds at some point this season.

What did Wainman say about a potential change of position for Harrison?

The 24-year-old has predominantly operated as a left winger during his stay at Leeds, which stretches back to 2018.

However, the club signed Daniel James from Manchester United on deadline day, leaving Marcelo Bielsa with the conundrum of figuring out how to fit Harrison, James and Raphinha into the same side.

Wainman believes that Bielsa may consider using Harrison centrally to accommodate James and Raphinha moving forwards, but admitted that this tactical tweak may not be popular with the majority of Leeds' supporters.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think maybe not a lot of people will agree with me, but if there are to be any changes, I think you’re more likely to see Jack Harrison move centrally. And the only reason I say that is because during Bielsa’s first season, he played him in the ‘false nine’ a few times when Roofe and Bamford were out. He played a couple of games, got a couple of goals in the Championship. Of course, the Premiership’s a different level.”

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How has Harrison previously fared when playing centrally?

As Wainman mentioned, Harrison does have some experience of playing through the middle. According to Transfermarkt, Harrison has been used either as an attacking midfielder or as a striker on five occasions during his career.

His record in these positions is relatively impressive, with the former England Under-21 international scoring once and providing two assists in these games.

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Should Bielsa play Harrison through the middle?

It is certainly a possible selection headache for Bielsa, but one that he will be pleased to have as it shows that Leeds have strength in depth in attacking positions.

Getting Harrison, James and Raphinha playing together does sound like an exciting prospect, but the Argentine coach should also be wary of using players in unfamiliar positions as it rarely works out well.

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Harrison has played centrally in the past, yet hasn't done so for a while, so it may take him some time to settle back into this role. Meanwhile, Rodrigo has operated in that position regularly for Leeds, and looked particularly sharp in the side's most recent Premier League outing as he delivered three key passes against Newcastle (via WhoScored). 

With this in mind, Bielsa may be better off sticking with Rodrigo who seems to be coming into his own, rather than moving Harrison into the middle, which could upset the balance of the team. 

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