Jack Harrison could have been fighting relegation at a different club but the decision to keep him at Leeds United is proving a masterstroke.
Harrison was halfway through a medical at Leicester on deadline day, ahead of a £25 million move, but was then called back 90 minutes before the cut-off point.
It would have been easy for his head to drop, but Harrison is now playing a crucial role in Javi Gracia’s mission to avoid dropping into the Championship. After a goal and assist in the 2-2 draw with Brighton last weekend, here was another excellent performance which encapsulated the battling qualities Leeds will need in the weeks ahead.
The former England Under-21 international delivered the first blow in an absorbing, yet crazy, contest which ended with Leeds hoisting themselves out of the bottom three and into 14th place.
Leicester are still frustrated over the circumstances of the aborted deal on deadline day, with American franchise 49ers Enterprise understood to be behind the about-turn.
The current minority stakeholders are expected to complete a full takeover of Leeds this summer and their move to recall Harrison could be rewarded with survival. Gracia also has two league wins since his surprise arrival and this felt like a significant moment in their season.
“Jack is a very important player for now and the future, and we need to look after him,” said Gracia. “He can play in a number of positions and is playing at a very high level.
We have time to enjoy the win and can prepare with confidence for the next game. There are 11 games left and all of them will be like finals for us.” While Leeds will take huge encouragement from this result, Wolves cannot have envisaged such a woeful afternoon.
Since Julen Lopetegui’s appointment in November, home results have been impressive, but this was at times excruciating with four goals conceded and defender Jonny and substitute Matheus Nunes sent off.