Bielsa chat with Clarke could change stance on Leeds loanee’s future

Marcelo Bielsa has met with Jack Clarke to stress to him his importance to Leeds over the second half of the season and amid talk the Leeds loanee is set to be recalled by Tottenham.

Clarke, who signed for Spurs from Leeds for £9m in the summer transfer window, was sent back out on loan for the current campaign with boss Mauricio Pochettino keen for the 18-year-old to continue his development in West Yorkshire.

However, the player is yet to play a single minute for United in the Championship this season with Clarke restricted to just two appearances in the Carabao Cup – a competition Leeds are now out of.

And his lack of playing time this season has led to growing speculation that Spurs will recall the player from Elland Road in January and send him elsewhere on loan – just as Chelsea did last season with Lewis Baker, who went on to join Reading.

However, the Daily Express reports that Bielsa has met with Clarke during the international break to stress how pleased he is with the player’s attitude in training and to reinforce the message that game time will come his way over the busy festive period and throughout the second half of the season, should he stay put.

Bielsa hopes the talks can help Clarke convince Tottenham to allow him to see out the season with the promotion-chasing Whites and ensure he remains as a part of their squad from January and beyond.

Speaking to Football Insider, BBC Radio Leeds commentator Noel Whelan believes Bielsa will need to hand Clarke his chance sooner rather than later if he’s to avoid Tottenham activating their recall clause.

“It’s inevitable Jack will go back to Tottenham, and probably on loan to another club,” Whelan said.

“He wants to be playing regularly, and I’m sure that’s what Tottenham want as well.

From what I’ve heard about Bielsa, he will be in talks with Pochettino regularly about Clarke.

“Bielsa will be telling him what’s going on in training, Clarke’s attitude, performance and effort, and why he isn’t in the side.

 

“They know each other well and Pochettino will be getting the full picture of what’s going on. Tottenham sent him back to Leeds because they trust Bielsa’s ability to develop young players.

“Jack Clarke is now third or fourth in the pecking order for the right wing role behind the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Helder Costa.

“Is Jack going to get in ahead of those two? No, he’s not. He’s going to have to bide his time and win the manager over in training.”

Bielsa himself has addressed claims that he could lose Clarke in January, saying:  “I am satisfied working with Clarke and I am sure he’s going to be necessary and important to use in relation about the news you were talking about.

“The only way to answer to this news is Clarke who is saying that or some authority of Tottenham.”