Ex-Spurs skipper expecting big things from £9m man Clarke, but not just yet

Jack Clarke Leeds United 2018-19
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Ledley King believes Tottenham's decision to snap up the teenage winger is a shrewd one, but admits a loan spell back at Leeds is the best option

Jack Clarke is being backed to compete with “top-class players” at Tottenham in the future, but Ledley King admits a loan spell back at Leeds is the best option for the youngster at present.

Spurs have acquired the talented 18-year-old in a £9 million ($11m) deal.

Mauricio Pochettino has moved quickly to buy into Clarke’s potential, with the teenager having just one full season of senior football behind him.

In an effort to avoid stunting his development, Spurs have allowed Clarke to remain at Leeds for the 2019-20 campaign.

Former club captain King believes that is the right decision, with regular game time of greater benefit to the youngster at this stage than working with a Premier League squad on a daily basis.

“I think he’s a terrific young player and it’s important that he now goes back to Leeds to develop his education further,” King told Oddschecker.

“It’s important at that age to play football, it’s not easy when you take a young kid out of playing regular football.”

Whenever the time comes for Clarke to join the ranks in north London, he will face fierce competition for places.

Tottenham boast international stars aplenty within their ranks, with the likes of Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son among those often asked to fill roles on the flanks.

It will not be easy for Clarke to make his mark, but King is confident that he will get his chance in time.

He added when pressed on whether a first-team role will be secured at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: “Eventually, yes. But he’s got a lot to learn and there’s a host of top-class players playing in the current team.

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“That will be his task, to make the manager [Pochettino] pick him. If he has a good season again at Leeds, he’ll come back and will be in the manager’s thoughts.”

Clarke, who only made his senior debut in October 2018, took in 24 appearances for Leeds last season across all competitions.

He helped the Whites to make the playoffs, but Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be looking to go one better in 2019-20 as they seek to secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League.