Jack Clarke is expected to move to the Championship for the second half of the season with Stoke City tipped to be his destination.
Stoke have been looking to bolster their attacking ranks in the January transfer window after injuries to Tyrese Campbell (knee), Steven Fletcher (knee then groin) and Lee Gregory (groin) blunted their threat.
Michael O’Neill has already recruited Rabbi Matondo on loan and the addition of left-back Rhys Norrington-Davies will allow for a return to 4-3-3, which had been abandoned following an injury to Morgan Fox (hamstring).
So who is Clarke and what would he bring to the table at the bet365 Stadium?
What are Jack Clarke’s main attributes?
A dribbler with skill and strong acceleration rather than an out-and-out pace merchant.
The Daily Mail’s secret scout reported: “He is a right-footed player who is comfortable when needing to take the ball on his left side.
“His record at youth level suggests he is a goalscorer and he is certainly a threat in possession. As soon as he receives the ball he takes angled runs at full-backs so he can go either inside or out. It is an asset to be able to switch from right to left in step whilst travelling with the ball.
“He is quite tall for a wide man and reminds me a little of Chris Waddle, a player who had all the skills of a wide man but eventually enjoyed playing more centrally.
“He does not look to have electric pace but can carry the ball at fair speed to unbalance the full back.”
What’s his best position?
Clarke has played on either wing – and was actually used up front against Stoke for Leeds in the Carabao Cup last season.
His main role has been on the right but he has said that he is comfortable playing anywhere in the front three.
What’s his background?
A Leeds fan, from York, who was in the club’s youth system from the age of nine and was frequently top scorer through the age groups.
He made his senior breakthrough from the bench in the winter of 2018/19, Marcelo Bielsa’s first season, and quickly turned heads in the Premier League.
“When I first saw him, I thought he was a good player,” said Bielsa at the time. “But I didn’t think he would have quite the same influence he is showing now.”
Spurs came calling with a bid of £10m that summer and agreed to loan Clarke back for the following season.
He couldn’t break into the starting picture, however, and was recalled in the January and sent out to Queens Park Rangers.
“I am very grateful with Clarke,” explained Bielsa. “He made his contribution in this part of the season, even if I didn’t use him. In the last days, he improved his performance, but just when this process was going on Tottenham decided to ask Leeds for Clarke to come back.
“I thought it was unnecessary to keep him if I knew he wasn’t going to be with us. I always try to make the players arrive as the best version of themselves. Sometimes, this process is not fast, it’s slow and we don’t achieve it faster.”
Clarke then only made six sub appearances at QPR as he competed for a place with Ebere Eze, Ilias Chair and Bright Osayi-Samuel, three of the brightest forwards in the Championship.
What has been said about his development?
It was reported in the summer that Spurs had rejected offers of loan moves to the Championship.
“Spurs turned down plenty of loan offers for the young winger from the Championship because they felt his development was better served by training alongside the likes of Kane, Bale, Son and Co.”
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LeedsLive’s Leeds reporter Beren Cross, meanwhile. can remember the buzz when he broke through.
He said: “Daniel Levy must have known he was taking a risk on Clarke. Spurs spent the best part of £10m on a teenager with four league starts to his name.
“Clarke was sensational for those six weeks across December and January (in 2018/19). There is something there, but he just needs some stability and consistency in his career for now.”