Jordan Stevens is on trial at Harrogate Town ahead of a potential loan move. The 21-year-old assisted the winner in their last friendly and will get another chance to impress Sulphurites manager Simon Weaver against Rotherham United on Wednesday.
With just one year remaining on his contract at Leeds United, Stevens looks set for the third Football League loan of his career, flattering to deceive a touch at Swindon Town and Bradford City respectively last season.
Harrogate enjoyed a steady first season in League Two finishing 17th, never flirting with the relegation conversation. They will be looking to kick on though rather than suffer from some second season syndrome, now finally able to welcome their fans back to Wetherby Road.
The club have made seven additions already but none matching the position or youthfulness of Stevens, if he can make an impact as he did in their last friendly against Rotherham, he goes a long way to securing the loan deal.
Here we look at three things Stevens will bring to Town…
Stevens has operated in every position on the right flank and also as a central midfielder in his career. His best position appears to be as a winger, comfortable on either side and able to contribute if deployed as a number ten. This would increase his value to the squad and Simon Weaver, making him a valid option in a range of systems to make an impact from the start or off of the bench.
Harrogate currently have three wide midfielders at the club, so another would be a positive move increasing their depth.
Town are lacking a player who can beat a man, with Brendan Kiernan departing for Walsall this summer. They do not have a player with unpredictable qualities with the trickery to unlock a defence.
Stevens’ skill set would match this role, his clear to see pace can get him and the team out of trouble in the defence third but also pay dividends going forward. His recovery speed to protect the full back playing behind him could be crucial when Harrogate are defending leads and looking to sit in against more accomplished opposition.
Now or never attitude
The clock is ticking now for Stevens if he is going to make it in the Football League without having to drop into non-league first; the 21-year-old must make the most of this upcoming season.
With his Leeds deal up at the end of the season an extension seems unlikely at this rate, therefore he needs to raise his profile in the minds of Football League managers and coaches this term, to ensure he is not left unattached next summer. This added motivation could be the kickstart he needs to thrive at League Two level.