Former Scotland defender Alan Hutton believes that teenage winger Jack Clarke would be “a great signing” for Celtic despite having very little playing time in recent months.
Football Insider reported last weekend that the Hoops had made an approach to Tottenham to loan the 19-year-old, who had been loaned back to Leeds after signing for Spurs last July (as per BBC) and who has also attracted interest from QPR, Derby and Millwall.
Even though Clarke has only played 134 minutes of football this season, Hutton thinks that the youngster could thrive if he moves to Parkhead, telling Football Insider: “I think he’d be a great signing. When he was at Leeds I was really impressed, for one so young to put in performances like that was brilliant, and then to get the move.
“After that it didn’t quite work out for whatever reason, he didn’t get a lot of game time. He’s so young, still to find his feet, he’s got time and I think a move like that, playing in front of a big crowd, European nights – it would be brilliant for him. It would be great moving forward – I know there’s a lot of people interested, especially in the Championship. It just depends on where his head’s at and does he want to move up to Scotland.”
Even though Clarke struggled for minutes during his loan spell at Leeds prior to being recalled by Tottenham, Hutton’s views on the young winger are probably based on what he had shown during the 2018/19 season. The teenager made 24 league appearances for the Whites in that campaign, scoring twice and setting up another couple of goals. Last season, the 19-year-old averaged 0.7 key passes, 0.8 shots, 1.1 successful dribbles and 0.5 successful tackles per game, while posting a passing success rate of 75.9% (as per WhoScored).
By way of comparison, 20-year-old Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has averaged 0.5 key passes per game in the Europa League this season and not won any tackles, although he has a slightly better passing accuracy rate (78.9%) than Clarke and has averaged more shots per game (1.5). [via WhoScored]
While the Tottenham youngster might not have played much football of late, Hutton may well be aware of other wingers who prospered at Celtic after struggling in England. Mohamed Elyounoussi, who joined on loan from Southampton in last summer’s transfer window, did not score in 19 Saints appearances last term but hit seven goals in his first 13 games for the Hoops. Scott Sinclair had scored just twice in his final league season at Aston Villa before joining Celtic in 2016 and finding the net 21 times in his first Scottish Premiership campaign.
If Clarke moves to Celtic and is given a chance to shine at Parkhead, he could follow the lead of Sinclair and Elyounoussi by thriving in Scotland after a barren spell in England. Also, as Hutton has said, the Tottenham man is still very young at 19 and therefore has plenty of time to blossom into a winger of real substance.
Celtic fans, do you agree with Hutton’s views on Clarke as a possible Hoops signing? Let us know what you think by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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