Darren Bent has suggested that Leeds United winger Jack Clarke has fallen out of favour with manager Marcelo Bielsa after struggling for game time in recent weeks.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aston Villa and England striker says that the teenage attacker looked like he would be one of the main attacking outlets for the Whites this season and that something is clearly not right behind-the-scenes.
Clarke was sold to Premier League heavyweights Tottenham over the summer but loaned back to Elland Road for the season, having enjoyed a breakthrough 12 months.
However, the 18-year-old has failed to make a single league appearance to date, including being left out of the last three matchday squads, and was one of three players hooked by Bielsa at half-time in the League Cup defeat to Stoke City.
Bent suggests that off-pitch issues may have arisen between the manager and the player and that Clarke needs to prove his worth out on the training pitch.
Asked what seems to have gone wrong for Clarke this season, Bent told Football Insider: “I have no idea, he’s obviously gone to Tottenham and come back but for whatever reason, I don’t quite get what’s gone wrong.
“He was brilliant last year, broke into the team, everyone’s talking about how brilliant he’s been, maybe he might have come back with the wrong attitude this season and Bielsa’s like: ‘I don’t care if you’ve gone to Spurs, you’re not coming back with this attitude.’
“It’s not good because from where he was last season, you might have expected him to be one of Leeds’ main men this season. At the moment something’s going wrong, Bielsa’s obviously not happy. He needs to seriously get himself back on that training pitch, sort out what’s going wrong because he’s wasting time at the moment.”
Clarke has a total of 27 appearances under his belt for Leeds so far, scoring twice and setting up a further two assists for his teammates.
Leeds’ next game sees them take on Swansea City at Elland Road in what will be the final game before the first international break of the season.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills was left raving to Football Insider over one “incredible” thing he saw during the defeat to Stoke.