I think we need to have a chat about Jack Clarke.
As FootballInsider mentioned last week in regards to Eddie Nketiah’s loan deal from Arsenal, Leeds could be hit with a number of financial penalties if they don’t give Nketiah sufficient game-time. Essentially because it’s hurting Arsenal’s asset and they need to be compensated in some way if he doesn’t develop as much as they’d hope because he’s sat on the bench or in the U23s.
Whilst there may be a similar clause inserted in the Jack Clarke loan deal, (as FootballInsider point out, it’s becoming an increasingly common practice), I think the problem with him not playing isn’t a financial one, but could certainly lead to a few problems further down the line.
As has been commented on in the press, EFL rules mean that you can only have a certain amount of loan players in your matchday squad, and Jack Clarke has been the one missing out, only playing 70 minutes so far this season.
What worries me most about the Jack Clarke situation, is how it could affect Leeds’ relationship with Spurs going forward. Let’s say next summer if Leeds have been promoted to the Premier League (oh joy of joys), and Marcelo Bielsa is looking around for players that he wants to bring in to bolster the squad. Let’s take Danny Rose for instance, who’s been rumoured to leave Spurs for a while now, and is a former Leeds academy man, so the connection is there that a move back to Elland Road isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Don’t you think that Spurs might think twice about doing us a favour after the way we’ve treated one of their players?
I know that Leeds aren’t in the best position right now financially, so having to loan players rather than buy them was sort of forced upon the club, but this is one of the risks with bringing in so many of them, you can’t keep all of them happy.
If Clarke is so far down the pecking order, and let’s not forget, he wasn’t exactly a first-team regular last season, it might be worth us sending him back and keeping the relationship in as good a condition as we can, because you never know when we might need a helping hand from them in the future.