Celtic have missed out on one of their transfer targets, having left it too late to come forward with their bid.
Football Insider reported that the Hoops had tabled a bid for Tottenham winger Jack Clarke but, in an update from Football Insider, the 19-year-old had already begun negotiations with QPR about a proposed loan move after an offer from the London-based club was accepted by Spurs.
According to Football Insider, the youngster had been interested in Celtic’s offer but was already in discussions with QPR by that point, and the move has now been confirmed by the English Championship side.
Clarke signed for Tottenham from Leeds last summer and was loaned back to Elland Road, although he made just three appearances this season for Marcelo Bielsa’s side before his parent club recalled him at the end of December.
The teenager was given more regular opportunities to prove his worth in 2018/19, when he made 24 appearances for Leeds. Although he didn’t have a massive amount of game-time for the Yorkshire club that season with 894 minutes, he still managed to plunder two goals and two assists, with one of each per 447 minutes of action. In that campaign, he had match averages of 0.7 key passes, 0.8 shots, 1.1 successful dribbles and 0.5 successful tackles, along with a passing success rate of 75.9% (as per WhoScored).
While he can play on either flank, Clarke has predominantly been a right winger so far in his fledgling career and Celtic may have viewed him as ideal backup to James Forrest, who has scored 14 goals and set up another 16 this season. However, having started every league match for the Hoops so far this term and played 35 games in total, the risk of burnout is not unthinkable and some Celtic fans have been critical of his recent form.
Clarke may also have been an option on the left, where both Mikey Johnston and Mohamed Elyounoussi have had their injury troubles in recent months. Celtic’s options on that side were recently reduced with the departure of Scott Sinclair to Preston and could be further trimmed if Lewis Morgan completes a proposed move to Inter Miami (as per Football Insider).
Although Clarke was handed few opportunities to prove his worth at Leeds this season, he still showed glimpses of his effectiveness from the game-time that he had been given at Elland Road. Also, his ability to play on either flank could have come in very useful for Celtic, especially with Forrest facing criticism of his form and the reduction of their left-sided options.
That the 19-year-old Tottenham winger was apparently interested in the Hoops’ offer makes it all the more galling that the Parkhead club look to have left it too late to make their move.
Celtic fans, do you think the club missed the boat with Clarke or would they be better off without him? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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