Leeds United: Clarke could be handed chance, reveals Heckingbottom

Jack Clarke.Jack Clarke.
Jack Clarke.
Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom says it is possible Jack Clarke could be the next youngster to force his way into the first team reckoning at Elland Road.

The 17-year-old has been turning heads at Thorp Arch and has played a key role in the recent resurgence of Carlos Corberan's under-23's side following his promotion from the under-18's.

Clarke was due to be involved in United's League Cup tie at Leicester City last November but the Whites decided against his inclusion at the King Power as he was yet to sign terms at the club.

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Now though, the Leeds boss has revealed it may be time to give him an opportunity at Championship level but warned that the youngster, who can play as a winger or striker, must be managed in the right way to continue his development.

"Possibly (on whether Clarke may see first team action)," Heckingbottom said during his pre-Bolton press conference.

"Jack has got a lot of competition in front of him, in terms of the role he plays in the team and his position.

"He is someone who has done well for a long time as a schoolboy stepping up and playing 18's and then playing in the 23's. He's been performing well but he's one that the club have to manage properly and keep challenging in the right way but still provide support.

"There will come a time when he's dipped into it and he realises how hard it is to get past the players in his position in the first team."