Mauricio Pochettino’s dismissal by Tottenham will have little bearing on Jack Clarke’s immediate future at Leeds United, Football Insider can reveal.
The Argentine gave the green light for Spurs to pay an initial £9.5million for the 18-year-old last summer but he also regarded the teenager as a long-term signing.
Pochettino had conversations with his mentor Marcelo Bielsa, the Leeds manager, about Clarke during the first three months of this season and the feedback had been positive.
As revealed by Football Insider earlier this week, Bielsa has told Clarke in face-to-face talks he has done better this season than he did during his breakthrough campaign of 2018-19.
That will come as a shock to Leeds fans who have not seen the winger in a single minute of league action this season.
However, Bielsa believes he has more options this season following the arrival of £15million man Helder Costa, with Jack Harrison also a more effective weapon and Pablo Hernandez still the club’s most inventive performer.
So, what happens to Clarke in January?
Tottenham have a mid-season recall option in the upcoming transfer window and will be keen for their big-money capture to play first-team football.
In a way, the exit of Pochettino changes little for Clarke.
He would not have been in the Spurs first-team squad in the second half of the campaign even if the Argentine, a manager far more willing to trust in youth than new appointment Jose Mourinho, had remained in charge.
A source with knowledge of Clarke’s situation has told Football Insider the two likeliest scenarios are either he remains at Leeds or is loaned out to another Championship club.
There is an acceptance he is not yet ready for Premier League football, and that the United academy product is developing under Bielsa even though he is watching from the bench every week.
Ultimately, if Tottenham and the player feel he is stagnating, he will move on in January, most likely to a second-tier rival.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have agreed the terms of a £5million-plus deal.