Tottenham arranging a loan move for their highly-rated 20-year-old ace would make sense

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Why Tottenham would be right to loan out Jack Clarke in January

According to the London Evening Standard, Tottenham could consider loan offers for out-of-favour winger Jack Clarke during the January transfer window. 

The 20-year-old had been linked with a loan exit from North London in the summer but Jose Mourinho decided to keep the youngster with the hope of handing him some first-team minutes. However, the Portuguese has struggled to offer Clarke much game time, with the England U-20 international only making a couple of appearances in the Europa League so far this term.

Clarke’s availability has put a number of EFL Championship clubs on red alert heading into the winter market. Football Insider (h/t Stoke Sentinel) has mentioned Stoke City, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday as the potential suitors for the highly-rated wide attacker. 

Clarke graduated from the youth system of Leeds United and shot to prominence in the Championship with a number of impressive cameos for the Whites during the 2018-19 season. That was enough to convince Totteham to offer him a route to the top-flight in 2019, although he was loaned straight back to Leeds to enhance his development.  

tottenham hotspur v birmingham city pre season friendly
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: Jack Clarke of Spurs in action during the pre-season friendly match between Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The youngster was recalled by Spurs last January after struggling for game time at Elland Road and was subsequently loaned to QPR, where he once again played a bit-part role in the Championship during the second half of the 2019-20 campaign. Clarke returned to North London in the summer but is yet to kick a ball in the Premier League. 

Putting things into context, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Tottenham to sanction a loan exit for Jack Clarke in the January window. The youngster hasn’t been anywhere near breaking into Mourinho’s first-team plans in the Premier League. Sitting constantly on the sidelines isn’t going to work wonders for his development and a temporary move away should be beneficial for all parties involved. 

It’s difficult to see how Clarke’s situation at Tottenham would change in the coming months, unless, of course, there is a grave injury crisis. Heung-min Son and Steven Bergwijn have been the first-choice wide attackers for Mourinho this season. Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and even Gareth Bale have been peripheral figures in the set-up, with the manager not prepared to tinker with his forward line too much. 

Having said that, Tottenham already have more than enough depth and quality in the wide attacking department. With so many experienced stars competing for places, Clarke hardly stands a chance to burst onto the scene in the coming months. Spurs’ squad depth will be tested during a hectic second half of the season but Mourinho has so many other options to call upon. 

Jack Clarke Nottingham Forest vs Leeds United
Soccer Football – Championship – Nottingham Forest v Leeds United – The City Ground, Nottingham, Britain – January 1, 2019, Leeds’ Jack Clarke celebrates after he scores the first goal (Getty Images)

Verdict

Suffice to say, Jack Clarke is unlikely to get a fair crack of the whip at Tottenham, thus making a loan move away from North London in January a fair settlement. However, Spurs need to make sure that the winger plays regularly no matter where he spends the second half of the season. Clarke didn’t start a single game in the Championship on loan at Leeds and QPR last term, and Tottenham surely wouldn’t want a repeat of that.

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That said, Tottenham arranging a loan spell for Clarke at the right club could be crucial for the 20-year-old’s development. The youngster has bags of potential and a productive loan spell could very well get him ready for life in the Premier League moving forward.