Jack Harrison has vowed to “give everything” to help Everton move forward as he outlined what he will bring to Sean Dyche’s team “heading in the right direction” and why he was so keen to move to the Blues.
The 26-year-old attacker became the Club’s fourth summer signing on Monday after completing a season-long loan switch from Leeds United.
A minor hip injury means Harrison – who can play on either flank and as an attacking midfielder – will have to wait a few weeks to make his Everton debut. But after being an integral part of Leeds’ forward line in the Premier League in recent seasons, he explained what he can offer Dyche’s squad following his move to Merseyside.
“It’s a pleasure to get the deal over the line. I’m really excited to be here,” Harrison told evertontv. “The general feeling from the Club has been super positive so I’m just hoping to get back fit soon and be back out on the pitch.
“It’s a massive club. I remember coming to Goodison Park and it was always so difficult because of the fans and the great atmosphere that the people bring for Everton so I’m excited to be on the other side of that and a part of it, and to hopefully bring something they can cheer about as well.
“Everton expressed their interest right from the beginning and that was definitely valuable. You always want to be around good people and that’s the impression I got here straight away.”
On speaking to manager Dyche, his new teammates and staff about moving to Everton, Harrison added: “It came down to a lot of people here at the Club and the direction the Club wants to go in.
“We came to the consensus this would be the best place for me to thrive.
“From the beginning, the manager expressed how much he wanted me. It was a difficult period last season but, after speaking with people, the Club is in a really positive position and heading in the right direction
“I know the first game [against Fulham] was unfortunate but there was a lot of good things that came out of that game and I’m hoping to contribute to that.
“Speaking with everyone here, experiencing what it’s like at the Club and the facility [at Finch Farm] really emphasised that so I’m super excited and just ready to get going.”
On adding key target Harrison to his Everton squad, manager Dyche said: “We’re pleased to have strengthened our forward options with the signing of Jack.
“He is a proven Premier League performer who provides a goal threat and assists, is technically very good, and works hard for the team.
“We are looking forward to working with him once he has recovered from his minor injury and for him to show his qualities with Everton.”
Harrison’s impressive statistics highlight what he can offer Dyche’s Blues.
Over the past three years, only nine Premier League players have created more chances from open play than the new Everton forward (125).
In that same period, just seven players managed more combined assists (16) or created more overall chances on goal (156), while Harrison was also Leeds’ most prolific dribbler and crosser during their time in the English top-flight.
His attacking qualities are also matched by a tireless work-rate that fits into what Dyche demands from his players.
In that same three-year period, only two players – including Harrison’s new teammate Dwight McNeil – have won possession more inside the final third of the pitch (69). He also ranks in the top five per cent in Europe’s top five leagues for tackles by wingers in the attacking third.
“I like to work hard, it’s part of who I am. I think that fits in well with the characteristics of an Evertonian,” said Harrison.
“I also like to think I have talent in the attacking end as well so showing what I can do on the pitch, combining with teammates, creating chances, and hopefully scoring and assisting to help the team. I’ll be doing everything I can to help Everton be successful and to show Everton fans what I’ve got.
“Naturally I try to play in the best way I can and creating chances is a big part of my game. I saw how involved the wingers were [against Fulham on Saturday] and that’s something that definitely attracted me. Playing in that style where the wingers are very involved and integral to the team succeeding is something I want to be a part of.
“I saw a lot of moments on Saturday where I could see myself in certain situations, creating chances, being on the ball and helping the team in a different way.
“There were a lot of positive things to come from the game. The group is in a good position and heading in the right direction. That’s the biggest thing at this point in the season and I’m sure, with the calibre of players here, the goals will definitely come.
“I’m hoping to be back in a few weeks. At this point I just can’t wait to get back out on the pitch and play in front of the Everton fans.”