The 21-year-old left Leeds in the summer of 2019 in a £9m move to Spurs, before immediately being loaned back to the Whites. But after just 19 minutes of Championship football under Marcelo Bielsa, Clarke was recalled midway through the 2019/20 season and joined Queens Park Rangers on loan instead.
Bielsa expressed his thanks to the then-teenager and felt he had been improving before the loan was terminated.
"I am very grateful to Clarke,” he said.
"He made his contribution in this part of the season. Even though I didn’t use him, in the last days, he had improved his performance, but just when this process was going on, Tottenham decided to ask Leeds for Clarke to go back."
The Thorp Arch academy graduate made six appearances for QPR but enjoyed much more game time with his next loan move, to Stoke City for the second half of the 2020/21 campaign, until an Achilles injury ended his time with the Potters.
This season Clarke has featured in Spurs' matchday squads only twice, with just 45 minutes of Europa Conference League qualifying action to his name.
Now he's moved to the Stadium of Light to try and resurrect his season, joining Lee Johnson's side on loan until the summer. The Black Cats sit second in the League One table, level on points with leaders Wigan Athletic having played four more games.
The promotion race was part of the attraction for Clarke.
"I can't wait to get started," he said.
"I'm from this part of the world, so I know this is a massive club and what it means to the fans. I'm looking forward to playing at the Stadium of Light and the prospect of being part of the team that takes the club back to the Championship. I want to help the team as much as possible, whether that's goals or assists, and ensure we reach that end goal."