Marcelo Bielsa’s first season at Leeds saw him deliver when it came to bringing youngsters into the first-team picture, and Jack Clarke’s emergence was one of the highlights of that season.
Coming off the bench, his direct dribbling from out wide was a real threat against Championship defences, seeing him score two and assist two in his first season.
Following that impressive first campaign under the Argentine, the Premier League came calling as Tottenham made him a new signing for a reported £8.5million fee, with add-ons on top of that.
The deal saw Clarke return to Leeds for the 2019/20 season where he failed to make any sort of impact with one appearance in the league off the bench to Luton Town.
His loan was terminated and saw him move to QPR, where his debut came in their controversial win over Leeds in January 2020.
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Loans away from Tottenham in general did very little for Clarke, as he mustered six appearances for QPR, before 14 while at Stoke City in 2020/21 – as Clarke continued to struggle to make the grade in the Championship, Leeds had moved onto their Premier League adventure.
However, where Clarke has now shown signs of life is with his stint at Sunderland, initially a loan to help them to finally clinch promotion out of League One with one goal and three assists, including an impressive performance against Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs.
A low initial fee for Clarke made his move to the Stadium of Light permanent this summer, and with add-ons rising to £10million, he’s showcasing the talent we saw at Leeds in his first season:
Clarke’s three goals and four assists this season beat his entire career tally before the campaign started, proving that he’s now enjoying the best form of his career for the Black Cats.
Whether he can get to a point in the future where he was the player Spurs thought they were getting remains to be seen, but he’s finally looking like the player that was excelling initially under Bielsa.