How Tottenham Hotspur teen Jack Clarke re-emerged as attacking option for Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United

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Jack Clarke has re-emerged as an attacking option for Leeds United ahead of tomorrow's trip to Reading, thanks to what he did away from the club during the international break.

The winger, sold to Spurs in the summer and re-signed immediately for a season-long loan, had failed to appear in the Championship campaign until Saturday at Luton, when head coach Marcelo Bielsa brought him off the bench. Clarke, who celebrated his 19th birthday with the 2-1 win at Kenilworth Road, impressed Bielsa with his England Under-20s display against Iceland.

“In the second match that he played with England, he had a very good performance,” said Bielsa, after Clarke assisted Danny Loader’s opening goal, helped set up the Reading youngster’s second and gave Iceland Under-20s a torrid time of it on the left.

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That performance and 90 minutes for his country led to 19 minutes for his loan club as Bielsa attempted to reinvigorate the Whites’ attack at Luton.

Jack Clarke made his first Championship appearance of the season on Saturday (Pic: Getty)Jack Clarke made his first Championship appearance of the season on Saturday (Pic: Getty)
Jack Clarke made his first Championship appearance of the season on Saturday (Pic: Getty)

“We are always looking for different options: Pablo [Hernandez] and Helder [Costa] play on the right, Tyler [Roberts] and Pablo in the middle and Harrison, Costa and Clarke play on the left – the three places where the offensive play grows or stops, because [Patrick] Bamford is less involved in the build-up and more involved in the finish,” said Bielsa.

“[Mateusz] Klich, [Luke] Ayling and [Stuart] Dallas, they had impact from behind. I wanted to refresh the two winger positions and playmaker.”

Before that surprise cameo, the chance of the loan spell continuing beyond January had all-but been written off by many owing to the lack of opportunities afforded to him by Bielsa.

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The head coach admitted last week he has never spoken to Spurs about their winger’s progress at Elland Road this season.

But he adopts the same stoic philosophy to this loan deal as he does with others, putting the ball firmly in the court of the parent club and the player himself.

“Every day I try to do the best for Clarke and afterwards Tottenham and Clarke will value if what we are doing is good for him or not,” he said, in a statement reminiscent of times when he has addressed the situation revolving around Eddie Nketiah’s loan spell.

The Arsenal striker is not in contention for tomorrow's visit to the Madjeski Stadium and will only return to full training on Thursday.

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Bielsa revealed today he expects to have ‘the same group’ of players to pick from as Leeds go looking for a fourth consecutive win.

Liam Cooper may return to the starting line-up, however.

“Probably he will start. I’m not 100 per cent sure but probably he will play,” said Bielsa.

“He played 30 minutes in the last match, today he has trained and we’re going to wait to see how he is.

“But if he doesn’t start, [Gaetano] Berardi will start, he has played correctly in the last match.”