Pundit Exclusive: £9.5m Poch signing in last chance to save Spurs career amid breaking news
Jack Clarke must dazzle if he leave Tottenham on another loan in January – or it’s lights-out for his career at the Premier League giants.
That is the verdict of Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley about a player he has followed closely since he began lighting up the Leeds United youth team.
Clarke made his Spurs debut off the bench in the Europa League against LASK in October, adding a second substitute appearance in the same competition against Ludogrets a month later.
Whelan admitted he was worried about the trajectory of Clarke’s career after the youngster failed to impress in two previous Championship loan spells, back to Leeds and then with QPR last season.
But he said that the situation looks better than it did last year after the 20-year-old’s recent exposure to the Spurs first-team.
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“I did fear for him at Tottenham after his loan move to QPR because he was absolutely woeful, it looked like had no confidence. A player that has gone for so much money, not affecting the game, not even getting in the side at QPR,” he told Football Insider.
“Then you’re questioning, can he cut it in the premier league if he can’t even do it in the championship?
“Especially after the change of manager because it was Pochetino that bought him and now it’s Mourinho, you had to ask: did he have a future there?
“Now he’s got to go out there and do it. If he doesn’t, there’s absolutely no hope he’s gonna do it at Tottenham.
“There’s huge pressure on his shoulders.”
Spurs had originally blocked a loan move for Clarke with a view to him playing first-team football, as revealed by Football Insider in October.
With the likes of Gareth Bale, Heung Min-Son, Luas Moura, Carlos Vinicius and Steven Berwijn lightyears ahead of Clarke in the Spurs pecking order, the club have realised that a loan move might satisfy all parties.