Jack Harrison was all set to sign for his hometown club Stoke City. Then Pep Guardiola got involved.
Excited about his future potential, Guardiola helped engineer Jack Harrison’s $6 million transfer to Manchester City and subsequent loan to Middlesborough right under Stoke City’s nose, according to a report from ESPN. Guardiola and Harrison’s former coach at New York City FC Patrick Vieira both believe the England Under-21 international can develop into a first-team player at the club down the line, but they are sending him to the Championship for additional seasoning.
[MORE: Latest transfer news]
Harrison signed a 3.5-year contract at Manchester City, leaving open the option of another loan next season if he can’t break into the first team before he’s really given a chance to shine at the Etihad.
Having Pep Guardiola’s blessing is crucial for Harrison, an MLS and college soccer success story who is set to take his game to the next level in the coming months. Harrison certainly took the road less traveled, moving to a private school in Massachusetts before spending a season at Wake Forest and then becoming a professional at 19-years old.
Now 21, Harrison had become a solid MLS starter for a playoff team and was ready to take the next step in his career. Perhaps others will see his career path and consider MLS as a proving ground for young players.