Danny Mills has suggested that Leeds United winger Jack Clarke is suffering a lack of self-belief at Elland Road after his 45-minute display against Stoke City.
The former Leeds and England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the 18-year-old forward, who established himself as a regular in the first-team last season, appears to be struggling with his confidence, having found himself fall to the very fringes under Marcelo Bielsa.
The promising attacker, who signed for Tottenham over the summer, has not featured once in the Championship this season, with his only appearances coming in the League Cup.
Having started against Stoke on Tuesday evening, Clarke was hooked off by Bielsa at half time and Mills suggests that the Leeds starlet is suffering mentally after a disappointing performance.
Mills told Football Insider: “It’s an opportunity for him – he’s not in the matchday squad because there are other options and you can only have so many loanees, so that obviously affects him.
“When you get an opportunity, you can’t see it as a punishment. You’ve got to see it as an opportunity to perform. He had one opportunity where he came inside and I thought he should have shot and he didn’t – then again, didn’t shoot, didn’t shoot.
“Just a little bit of hesitation, a little lack of self-belief. Other than that, you’d have to say he was fairly ineffective. He didn’t do an awful lot down that left-hand side. There were a couple of times where Bielsa was berating him. He’s got to learn.”
Clarke has managed to make 27 appearances and scored two goals during his fledgeling career at Elland Road, the majority of which have come off the substitutes’ bench.
He made the bench for the opening two league games of the season but has since been left out of the matchday squads.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has been left raving to Football Insider about an “old-school” player at Elland Road.