By Richard Parks
Leeds United fans have taken to Twitter to rave about the promotion to the first team squad of teenage forward Jack Clarke.
Manager Paul Heckingbottom confirmed at his media briefing on Friday that he has fast-tracked the 17-year-old into the senior set-up following his impressive performances for the youth team.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash against Bristol City, Heckingbottom explained that Clarke, as well as his teenage team-mate Tom Pearce, have been offered the chance to impress in first-team training, but has suggested there is still some way for them to go to play in the Championship.
“They’ve got to earn it,” said Heckingbottom, as quoted by Leeds Live [01:18pm]. “You’ve got to be relentless in what you want, so it’s won’t be given away.
“It has to be justified, there’s no easy things. Those two have been training with us today so I got a look at them.”
Clarke is yet to make his senior debut but the Yorkshire-born youngster is highly rated at United and the club handed him a long-term contract at the end of last year as they demonstrated their faith him.
The emerging Elland Road talent was on the bench for the 2-1 defeat to Newport County in the FA Cup third round last month.
Leeds fans have reacted with delight at the promotion of Clarke, hailing him as “class” and a “terrific talent”.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
he wants to tell that to the free falling underperformers already in it lee
— topman65 (@baldyman1965) February 16, 2018
Class these two
— Stephen Foster (@stephenfoster81) February 16, 2018
That same thing should be for our at least half players (Alioski,Roofe,…)
— Leeds United Balkan (@LeedsUtdBalkan) February 16, 2018
25 years a Leeds fan. Good consistent feature – new kids come in, team gets a boost. Sad consistent feature, many of said kids move on to bigger and better things…!
— Alex Hart (@doctoralex) February 16, 2018
How has Sacko earned his place in first team squad silly statement to make with a team in free fall #lufc
— Neil Heath (@NeilHeath28) February 16, 2018
That’ll leave him with a couple of players based on recent efforts.
— Morphoolu (@Morphoolu) February 16, 2018
Delighted for them both .. both talented kids… Clarke for me is a terrific talent should be involved in 1st team match day 18s
— Benny Tayls (@BennyTaylsLUFC) February 16, 2018
Bloody hell half of the 1st dont deserve to be cleaning the boots
— mark (@GunnyMark) February 16, 2018
Director of football Victor Orta has used a lot of time and resources in bolstering the development squads with overseas talent, so for a Yorkshire-born lad like Clarke to make an impression with both Thomas Christiansen and now Heckingbottom says a lot about his potential.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Unreal signing’, ‘Massive talent’ – fans go into meltdown after top-flight club agree to sign striker direct from Elland Road.
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