Marcelo Bielsa would neither confirm or deny reports that Jack Clarke would be recalled by Tottenham in January – but did state his happiness with the winger’s attitude at Leeds.
The 18-year-old earned a £9.5m switch to Tottenham this summer off the back of an impressive breakthrough season at Leeds, but was loaned back to the Whites at the request of both player and club.
Clarke insisted at the time that returning to Leeds was something of a “no-brainer” with United boss Bielsa seen as key to helping the young winger develop his game even further.
However, Clarke has played just twice all season, with both appearances coming in the Carabao Cup – a competition Leeds are no longer in – and the teenager yet to play a single minute for the club in the Championship so far this season.
As a result, reports on Wednesday claimed Tottenham had decided to recall Clarke in January – possibly with the view of loaning him out elsewhere – and with The Sun also going big on the story, it was no surprise to see Bielsa questioned about the winger’s future during Thursday’s press conference.
“Always the source of the news is the most important,” Bielsa hinted. “After you have a team of 20 players, you give a lot of opportunity to each of those 20 players.
“I am really satisfied with Jack Clarke’s development, he’s at a good fitness level. Technically he is complete and he’s attitude today is very good.
“He competes with [Helder] Costa, [Pablo] Hernandez, [Jack] Harrison. If one of them are left in the team and Clarke is participating after we were going to listen that the news about Costa, Pablo, Harrison.”
Bielsa, who also discussed the dilemma of having Eddie Nketiah putting pressure on Patrick Bamford in attack, said: “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.”
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