Given his recent problems with injuries and fitness, a lot of people questioned whether or not “wonderkid” was a foregone conclusion and if he really is as good as he was touted to the fans. Haris, however, is taking all of that in his stride and during the three game tour of America, he is trying to change that.
A lot of 18 year olds at clubs tend to be fairly scrawny – their body waiting to fill out properly. Haris, on the other hand, has a frame that you would expect to find on a 25 year old midfielder – and he plays like one too.
Many of us may have seen the young lad play at reserve level and will know how he plays – direct, powerful, fast. During the friendly against Orlando City, we saw him taking heed of Jose Enrique’s advice whilst on the bench and pick the pocket of players advancing down the flank; jogging behind them only to casually nip off with the ball with a sudden burst of speed, agility and skill.
In the same game we also saw him being denied a perfectly legitimate goal.
However, the final game of the US tour against Columbus Crew (who are not a gang, how many times do I have to tell you this?) in which we won 3-0, Haris set the record straight once again. He curled the ball from the left corner of the box into the top left corner of the net – a display in both finesse and power.
Talking to the Chronicle yesterday, the starlet had this to say:
“My game plan is to get goals. I hope to do that if I get the chance against Columbus; I am an offensive player and can get the goals.”
“I thought I had scored, and I have seen the replay and it was not offside. It was unlucky for me, but the fans were getting a tough time off the ref. I still feel happy because I have played a game and scored so in the mind I feel stronger – even though it hasn’t counted. It is different when you know it was a good goal.”
The lad certainly doesn’t lack for confidence, and John Carver also talked about the 18 year old:
“It’s a big season for Haris this year. Obviously I’d never seen him play until when I arrived after Christmas but I thought he did extremely well at Darlington. It was his first senior game since the injuries. He is technically very good. He is another plus.”
Expect to see a lot more of him this year if he can keep his fitness levels up and his injury record down – this lad truly is a star in the making.