Jack Harrison shows his satisfaction at Everton following the ‘difficult’ transfer from Aston Villa by saying, “There is a long story behind it.”

Jack Harrison was speaking following his 2-1 Carabao Cup victory for Everton at Aston Villa, who reportedly made a last-minute offer for his services in the summer.

Jack Harrison admitted that he had originally anticipated playing this week for the Everton Under-21s against Burton Albion rather than making his first-team debut.

Despite the “complicated situation” that saw Aston Villa try to hijack his loan transfer from Leeds United, the summer signing maintains he’s delighted at the Blues.

The 26-year-old made his debut for Everton as a senior in their 2-1 Carabao Cup victory at Villa, 24 hours after the Blues’ underclassmen were defeated 2-0 by League One opponents in the EFL Trophy. He had originally anticipated playing in that low-key assignment in front of less than 500 spectators.

Harrison stated to the ECHO that it was “really challenging” to play in such a stadium with such a lively crowd and such a difficult opponent. It was a terrific challenge to play for 45 minutes last Friday (he participated in the U21s’ 2-1 home victory over Norwich City) and then build it back up here.

Since it had been a while, I was quite eager for the chance to play football at the Premier League level once more on a field like that. After speaking with the head coach at the beginning of the week, I learned that I would play on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, which made me extremely grateful for the opportunity and pleased that we could obtain a result. There had been some talk of my playing in the Under-21s game on Tuesday night at Burton.

“I’m still not as match-ready as I’d like to be, but after Friday, I thought it was a decent step up to step up against Premier League competition and get a few more minutes in the tank. I believe that sharpness will return because I’m constantly trying my hardest to regain it and the training that we’re doing also greatly aids in that process. Hopefully, it will return soon.

“I tried to mix it up a bit, and the gaffer wanted me a little bit more inside, mainly because of the defensive responsibilities that the wingers here had closing off through the middle and being really organized defensively, and we did exactly that,” said the player.

Unai Emery, the manager of Aston Villa, is said to have tried to bring Harrison to the West Midlands instead but later changed his mind due to the player’s injury at the time. Harrison’s loan move to Everton was announced on August 14, a day after he arrived at Finch Farm for a medical. Harrison responded when asked what happened, “There is a big story behind it. I believe I need to sit down and properly explain it since I don’t want to say anything inappropriate.

“It was a difficult position, but in the end I found myself at Everton, and I was glad to do so. I learned about the club’s beliefs; it’s a great club, so I’m shocked they’ve encountered the difficulties they have over the past few years.

“I believe that their team has a lot of skill, and their facilities, staff, and organizational structure are excellent. I’m glad to be here, and I’m hoping that by joining this brilliant group, we can build on our recent results and achieve some success as a team.

Harrison was thrilled to watch Dominic Calvert-Lewin score his second goal in as many games and James Garner score his first goal for Everton in what he believes can be a turning point performance for Sean Dyche’s growing team before their home game against Luton Town on Saturday.

It’s difficult when there are only two in there, Harrison added, because James worked so hard in the middle. He and Ama (Onana) played admirably, and I thought he and his goal were well-deserving.

“It was amazing for Dom, and I’m really thrilled for him. He works incredibly hard off the field to stay in shape, so for him to score at Brentford and then here, it’s great. With two goals in as many games, it’s fantastic for the momentum.

“Towards the end of the second half we definitely saw some things that we can improve upon but I felt that defensively we were very organised, right from the beginning. We were also picking the right times to press and pressure them and not letting them build any momentum while capitalising on our chances.

“We were able to show a threat from the beginning and once we got the goal, we created more and I think there is a lot that we can build off. It was a good performance.”

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