Championship

Leeds fans are so right: Bielsa should give Jack Clarke his first start against Ipswich

Leeds fans are so right: Bielsa should give Jack Clarke his first start against Ipswich

Leeds United supporters have been pretty quiet in recent times after seeing their team suffer a second Championship defeat of the season at the weekend.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men went into their encounter with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park having won just one of their preceding four league matches, and thus seeking a response against Tony Mowbray’s side. Yet the Whites were unable to return to winning ways as goals from Danny Graham and Darragh Lenihan either side of a Mateusz Klich equaliser sealed a 2-1 success for the Lancashire-based outfit, thus leaving Leeds in fourth place in the Championship table.

As such, there have been many disappointed Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter recently to call for Bielsa to give young forward Jack Clarke a start against bottom side Ipswich Town this evening.

And those Leeds fans are spot on to be calling for the 17-year-old to earn his first senior start for the Yorkshire giants later on today, as Bielsa must seek to move Kemar Roofe from the right wing to the main striker’s role at Elland Road, thus paving the way for Clarke to earn a starting role.

Ultimately, the 17-year-old has shown glimpses of promise in his two substitute cameos in recent weeks, not least on Saturday in coming off the bench and giving Leeds greater dynamism in the final third of the pitch – he injected a great deal of energy into what was, up until that point, a very disappointing display from Bielsa’s side.

And while Tyler Roberts did a solid job of deputising for the injured Roofe in wins over Preston North End and Hull City, it’s pretty clear that Bielsa needs to bring the ex-Oxford United forward back into the striker role against Paul Hurst’s Tractor Boys this evening, which should enable Clarke to start out on the flank.

And that’s because the 25-year-old was in sensational goal-scoring form prior to his injury back in September, what with the Englishman bagging four goals in his opening six appearances for Bielsa’s side, in which time he also laid on two assists to suggest that he was more than just a goal-scorer.

And while Bielsa did recall him to the starting eleven in defeat at Ewood Park on Saturday, he played down the right-hand-side and really struggled to get into the game and make a meaningful impact – easing him back in after a month out certainly made sense, but it’s clear that he needs to play up top if he is to make a telling impact.

As such, it’s pretty obvious that Roofe must be reinstated into the main striker role against Ipswich this evening, which opens the door for 17-year-old Clarke to potentially earn his first start for the club down the right-hand-side – a bold selection call Bielsa must make ahead of this evening’s encounter.

Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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