Could Jack Harrison replace Jack Clarke as Leeds’s sixth loanee?
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Could Jack Harrison replace Jack Clarke as Leeds's sixth loanee?

With Leeds United looking for the moment of magic that would lead to the opening goal at Barnsley on Sunday, Marcelo Bielsa decided to replace Jack Harrison with Helder Costa.

Harrison has made a bright start to the season after returning for a second loan spell. He was outstanding in pre-season and scored his first goal of the campaign on the opening day. Unfortunately, he has not quite managed to avoid criticism in more recent times.

The 22-year-old has shown so much promise this term. But he has not registered an assist or added to his goal tally since the win at Bristol City.

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And he could only look on as Costa played a pivotal role in helping Leeds to a 2-0 win at Oakwell. The Portuguese looked dangerous throughout the second-half and won the free-kick that led to Eddie Nketiah breaking the deadlock in the 84th minute.

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The calls for Costa to start are now surely too loud for Bielsa to ignore. Harrison is clearly a player he trusts, but it may not be doing anyone any favours to keep the Manchester City man in the starting lineup when the supporters desperately want to see Costa properly unleashed.

As things stand, it appears to be a matter of time before Costa is in the team. And it looks more than likely that Harrison will be the man to make way if a change is made.

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But if Harrison does drop down to the bench in the near future, perhaps there is a slightest opportunity for Jack Clarke to get himself back into the match day squad.

Could door open for Jack Clarke?

Clarke has been the biggest loser from Leeds having six loanees on their books. He has been left out of the Whites’s matchday squad for their last five league games.

It is difficult to see how Clarke gets back into the team as things stand. Leeds are playing well, and the Tottenham man has struggled to make a significant impact when he has played in the cup or for the under-23s.

In truth, he is probably going to need a teammate to get injured. But perhaps Harrison’s underwhelming form may tempt Bielsa to promote the teenager at some stage in the future.

Clarke cannot afford to not take an opportunity if it comes his way. It could be an incredibly frustrating few months otherwise. But Leeds fans know that he does have the potential to be a game-changer.

If he can get that chance and does make a devastating impact, it may be Harrison’s turn to endure a spell out of the squad.

It seems unlikely right now – many will probably be expecting Bielsa to keep faith with Harrison for Saturday’s game against Derby – but Harrison’s dip needs to motivate Clarke.

If Costa takes Harrison’s place in the near future, and Clarke produces some magic for the under-23s, Harrison may be in a vulnerable position. That could also help the Englishman rediscover his pre-season form.

Harrison and Costa are leaving Bielsa with a decision to make. The door therefore, may be ever so slightly open, and Clarke needs to target making the head coach’s decision even tougher.

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