Former Leeds United right back and now pundit Danny Mills has been speaking about the future of starlet Jack Clarke this week.
Having come through our Academy ranks, 18-year-old Jack Clarke has been a revelation this year as he continues his development under the charge of both Marcelo Bielsa and Carlos Corberan and as well as his achievements with our Under 23 side and their National trophy success in the Professional Development League, he’s also gained four starts and 18 substitute showings at first team level. Those games have seen him have a good impact usually, and he’s chipped in with two goals and two assists.
Although the season has tailed off a little for him after his collapse in the Middlesbrough game and we’ve been more careful with him, his talent is obvious and he’s been a regular feature on the rumour mill in terms of a departure this summer.
Speaking to Football Insider Mills explained that whilst the lure of more money is always tempting, for his career, remaining with us and continuing to play is the only sensible decision for the lad to take.
“I think Jack Clarke should stay at Leeds. He’s played a few games this season, he’s not played often enough and when I look at players who have left Leeds United too early in the past, it’s very, very difficult not to. His mentors, his agents, his parents, whoever’s looking after him, other players, maybe speak to senior players, it’s very, very difficult if a bigger club comes in with a lot more money, double, treble your wages. You think, ‘I’ve got to go now, it’s my opportunity’. Sometimes it’s very, very difficult to hold yourself back and go ‘no, I need to play.’ He can’t get into the Leeds team at the moment, week in, week out, so if he goes to a so-called bigger club, a Premier League side, is he going to play week in, week out? No. Simple as that.”
Mills went on to add.
“Therefore, what happens to him, is he just going to play under-23s football? What’s he going to do? He’s then going to get pushed out on loan, where does his future go in terms of building his career? Whereas if he stays and next season he plays 20, 25 games, if Leeds don’t get promoted or even if they do, then suddenly if he makes that move next season or the season after, you go to a bigger club and you’ve got a chance of playing. That’s a difference.”
With Clarke already rejecting Manchester City’s overtures to sign his deal with us, he’s got his head screwed on right already so I don’t see why that would change as the media rehash their lazy speculation.