Marcelo Bielsa has, in comments reported by Leeds Live, lauded Jack Clarke and insisted that the Tottenham Hotspur winger has a big role to play this season amid rumours that he could leave Leeds United in January.
Clarke has endured a tough start to the season. He is yet to play in the Championship, and has not been named in a matchday squad for their last five league games due to Leeds having six loanees on their books.
The Daily Mirror reported this week that the £10 million winger could be recalled by Tottenham when the January window opens after growing frustrated with his situation.
But Bielsa seemed to play down the suggestion that Clarke could leave in the winter, with the Leeds boss claiming that he could be a key player for the Whites in the coming months.
“I’m very satisfied with Jack’s development. He is at a good fitness level and at a technical level, he is a complete player,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live.
“His attitude is very good, and I’m satisfied working with him. He’s going to be necessary and important for us. In relation to the news you were talking about, the only way to answer this news is whether Clarke is saying that [he wishes to leave] or whether Tottenham are.”
The problem Clarke has is that Bielsa tends to remain incredibly loyal to the players who have a spot in the team. He is also not helped by the fact that fellow loanees Ben White, Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah look set to go nowhere while they are fit.
Tottenham may well be incredibly frustrated by the situation. But perhaps Clarke needs to look at his current situation as a real opportunity to prove a point to Mauricio Pochettino.
It could be argued that he is going to struggle to get anywhere Spurs’s team if he is not playing for Leeds. He is, of course, just 18 and has time to develop. He has also shown that he has frightening potential.
Battling back from his current predicament will tell Tottenham a lot about Clarke, particularly if he can shift one of those loanees who appears to have such a secure spot in the team.