The rise of Thorp Arch product Jack Clarke has been one of the most exciting sub-plots of Leeds United’s season so far, but it’s rare that an exponential rate of improvement arrives without interest from rival clubs and the 18-year-old wizard is no exception to the rule.
Marcelo Bielsa stunned the footballing world on Wednesday evening with an impromptu press conference to explain the ‘spygate’ scandal which has dominated the press since last Friday.
Within the press conference, which was effectively a PowerPoint presentation revealing the mechanics of Bielsa’s football-obsessed mind, El Loco revealed that he has spied on every single one of Leeds’ opponents so far this season.
It’s a potential trick up the sleeve which could provide the Argentine with vital pieces of information to aid his side’s cause, but the fundamental point was that his tricks, whether they are legal or not, are simply a byproduct of his immaculate attention to detail.
But, now that the dust has settled somewhat on ‘spygate’, Bielsa needs to pull another rabbit out the hat this month as interest in Jack Clarke begins to intensify.
Indeed, according to a recent report from Football Insider, two Premier League clubs based in the south of England have tabled multi-million pound offers for the exciting teenager.
Interest in Clarke is hardly surprising given the extent of the impact he has made at Leeds this season, with impressive displays against Aston Villa and Derby County particularly catching the eye.
The manner in which he has settled at this level points towards a huge Premier League future for the wing-wizard but, regardless of the extent of the interest from outside the club, it’s absolutely imperative that he remains at Elland Road until the end of the season.
Not only would Clarke’s departure represent a colossal setback for the club in the long-term, it would also significantly tarnish their short-term promotion dream, with his absence depriving Bielsa of a hugely influential attacking weapon and simultaneously deflating morale within the squad.
Naturally, Clarke will be flattered by interest from top-flight clubs, and that’s exactly why Bielsa needs to step in, reiterate his importance to the club and ensure he remains grounded and focused on helping Leeds end their Premier League exile.
Bielsa has done just about everything right since taking the reigns at Elland Road but his incredible work so far could be undone by a January sucker punch in the shape of Clarke’s exit.
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