Exclusive: Whelan convinced 'brilliant' player won't wear Leeds shirt again
Noel Whelan does not expect to see Jack Clarke in a Leeds United shirt again after he was omitted from the squad at the weekend and headed to Tottenham.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United forward is in doubt the winger, 19, will be loaned out to a new club for the second half of the season.
Clarke has been frozen out of Marcelo Bielsa’s team this campaign after returning to Leeds on loan immediately after signing for Tottenham for £9.5million rising to £13million.
Football Insider revealed earlier this month that Tottenham are set to exercise the mid-season recall clause in Clarke’s loan deal as soon as the January window opens for business.
The winger was omitted from the Leeds matchday 18 for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Fulham after being invited to his parent club on Sunday to meet Jose Mourinho for talks.
Asked by Football Insider if Clarke has worn the Leeds shirt for the last time, Whelan said: “Yeah, I do. It’s been on the cards, it’s been coming. We’ve not seen anything of Jack Clarke this season. When we have seen Jack Clarke come on he’s not really done anything.
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“The talks with Jose Mourinho won’t be about joining the first team, he’s not ready, simple as that. Tottenham need a better quality of player right now.
“He was brilliant when he broke through last season but he’s got a lot of learning to do and he’s not been getting time to do that at Leeds either.
“He’s not been getting in the team, he’s not been getting any game time. I think the best thing that could happen for Jack Clarke is that he goes back out on loan to another club.”
Clarke has been reduced to just three Leeds appearances this season, two of which have come in the League Cup.
As revealed by Football Insider, he has been targeted for a January loan by Championship big guns Fulham, Middlesbrough and Derby County, while Nottingham Forest have also been credited with an interest.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has tipped the Whites to sign ‘Fabulous’ Man City player next month.