Jack Harrison form's allowed Leeds fans to forget Mallik Wilks sale

Mallik Wilks of Doncaster and Jordan Storey of Preston compete for the ball during the FA Cup Third Round match between Preston North End and Doncaster Rovers at Deepdale on January 06,...

Some Leeds United fans have had their doubts about the Whites' decision to sell Mallik Wilks this summer.

Mallik Wilks of Doncaster and Jordan Storey of Preston compete for the ball during the FA Cup Third Round match between Preston North End and Doncaster Rovers at Deepdale on January 06,...

While it has been no surprise to see Leeds offload a number of fringe players this summer, one deal that certainly seemed to split the supporters was Mallik Wilks' move to Barnsley.

Wilks went into this summer off the back of a brilliant loan spell at Doncaster last term. Plenty of fans felt that the academy graduate had done enough to force his way into Marcelo Bielsa's plans, or at least, secure another loan move at a higher level for the coming campaign.

 

However, Leeds decided to let Wilks head to Oakwell on a permanent basis. Some felt that it was a good decision, for various reasons, while others were concerned that the Whites may rue the sale. 

But with the season-opener with Bristol City just around the corner, it seems that the decision to sell Wilks has now become something of a non-issue. And the person arguably responsible for that is Jack Harrison.

Jack Harrison of Leeds United kicks the ball during a pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Optus Stadium on July 17, 2019 in Perth, Australia.

When Wilks' departure was announced, Leeds had not played a single pre-season game. And it is probably fair to say that the fans were not getting particularly carried away about Harrison's return for a second loan spell - which had been confirmed just a few days earlier - after a mixed first year at Elland Road.

But Harrison has arguably been one of the biggest winners in Bielsa's squad during pre-season. Fans have noticed Harrison has changed physically, and that appears to have had an impact on his performances on the pitch. He has been a game-changer at times, and produced plenty of moments of serious quality. 

Jack Harrison of Leeds and Phil Jones of Manchester United in action during a pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Optus Stadium on July 17, 2019 in...

If Harrison's form is a sign of what is to come, then he could quickly become one of the most important players in Bielsa's squad.

And with Leeds confirming on their official website that they have the option to make Harrison's move permanent next summer, the Whites' decision to sell Wilks looks more understandable. Wilks has every chance of being a major success with the Tykes, but Harrison looks ready to completely overshadow the Barnsley man this season.

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