Alex Bruce claims that promising Tottenham winger made a mistake in leaving Leeds United last summer.
The former Leeds defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 19-year-old would have been better off remaining with the Whites and playing regularly rather than moving to the Premier League giants.
The teenage forward was sold to Spurs for a fee in the region of £10million after a breakthrough season at Elland Road.
However, he is yet to play for his parent club and has struggled for game time on loan at both Leeds and Championship rivals QPR this season.
Bruce believes that the move to north London may have stunted the youngster’s development and suggests he would have been better off finding his feet at Leeds.
Bruce told Football Insider: “I think sometimes young lads who do well for a season and they get the chance to move, they can jump ship too early.
“Sometimes you need to get a couple of years experience under your belt because unless you’re an exceptionally good, young player you have peaks and troughs where you have a good season and then you have an iffy one, especially in your teens and early 20s.
“For a player to stick it out, I would always recommend that – to find your feet, level yourself really before you jump ship and keep playing.
“Sometimes if you’re playing and you move and go to a club like Tottenham, any of the top five, six teams in the country, we’ve seen it many times before – you can move and it can be to the detriment of yourself because you stunt your growth and you find yourself not playing. Really you’d have been better staying at a lesser club and playing every week.”
Clarke played 25 times across all competitions last season before his move, although only five of those appearances came in the starting XI.
He has featured just eight times during his loan spells at Leeds and QPR this term, with not a single league start under his belt.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has lifted the lid on his talks with Angus Kinnear after a financial reveal at Elland Road.