It has been a tough week to be a Leeds United supporter, hasn’t it?
Having squandered a three-point lead over automatic promotion challengers Sheffield United over the Easter weekend, Marcelo Bielsa’s side’s hopes of securing a top-two finish in the Championship are now hanging by a thread.
Last Monday’s 2-0 defeat against Brentford saw several under-par performances from the Whites’ players with Jack Clarke, in particular, struggling to make an impact.
When the winger was introduced as a substitute by his Argentine manager with 25 minutes to go at Griffin Park, it was hoped that he would provide the spark needed to rescue his side. Unfortunately, he caused more harm than good for Leeds as a failure to keep possession when given the ball hampered his team’s efforts.
Clearly struggling for form since returning from a medical issue suffered in February, Clarke has hardly been pulling up any trees for the club’s under-23 side either and so the news that he has been linked with a £10m move to AFC Bournemouth in the summer (according to Football Insider) could force owner Andrea Radrizzani into making a decision on his future.
Whereas the 18-year-old has shown a great deal of promise in victories over Aston Villa and Derby County earlier this season, the pressure to deliver as an academy graduate in such a pivotal time of the year may be too much for someone who has hardly any experience of first-team football.
Despite Clarke being a fan-favourite at Elland Road, Leeds may benefit from cashing in on him whilst his reputation is still so high as they could use the money to re-invest in other areas of the squad ahead of next season, regardless of whether they are in the Championship or the Premier League.
For the winger, a move to Bournemouth could turn out to be a positive on a personal note as there are not many managers in English football who can match the track-record that Eddie Howe has of nurturing the talents of young prospects. In recent years, the likes of Lewis Cook, Callum Wilson and David Brooks have all developed as players under the guidance of the 41-year-old as so it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Clarke becomes the latest success story at the Vitality Stadium.
What do you think Leeds fans? Should the club cash-in on Clarke? Or is it important that the club keep the 18-year-old at the club for the foreseeable future? Let us know below.
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