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Leonard "hungry to impress", says Harris

The boss has his say following the deadline day signing

31 August 2018

Millwall manager Neil Harris believes that Ryan Leonard brings something different to his Lions squad - and is relieved to have signed the midfielder after a long-term pursuit for his signature.

Leonard has joined the club on loan from Sheffield United in a move which will become a club record permanent transfer in January.

And Harris, who played alongside the 26-year-old during their time together at Southend United, says his newest recruit will be eager to impress staff, team-mates and Lions supporters.

"He's a very talented player," the boss said. "He is very much your modern day player. He's athletic, has a great mentality, and is a winner. Ryan's a really good lad.

"Having shared a dressing room with him when he was a young lad coming through and I was a senior player at Southend, I know the makeup of him mentally.

"Ryan will be something slightly different to what we have got. He's a player we have tracked in two transfer windows before this one. So not only have I been in the same team as him, I've also watched him as a coach and as a manager and admired his quality. I'm really pleased to get it over the line."

Leonard didn't sign in time to be registered to play against Swansea City on Saturday but will, fitness permitting, be in contention for a potential Lions debut when Leeds United visit The Den after the international break.

"He knows that he has got no divine right to play and he has to earn that right, especially at this football club," Harris added.

"But he will be hungry to impress. He is a hungry lad who will want to play, as he has been used to over the last four of five years.

"Ryan is at a really good age and he gives us a good blend of players that we can play in the middle of the park. We certainly look forward to getting him into the dressing room quickly."

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