Leeds United’s young star Jack Clarke has been tipped for big things since he broke onto the scene at Elland Road.
Leeds United youngster Jack Clarke’s name first started coming onto the tongues of Leeds fans when he was named on the bench for their tie against Newport County earlier this year when Paul Heckingbottom.
After featuring throughout pre-season for The Whites, Clarke has started to appear as a substitute for the first team this season. The 18-year-old has pulled on the Leeds United strip on five occasions this season, making his way on as a substitute to make five appearances so far.
In the previous two games against Reading and Sheffield United, Clarke has come on at half-time for Ezgjan Alioski. The Macedonia international’s quality of performances has dipped of late, leading to calls from fans to start academy graduate Clarke over Alioski.
Manager Marcelo Bielsa has kept faith in Alioski so far, but clearly rates young Clarke very highly.
“Every time he plays he adapts better to the level of demands of the team of Leeds. He doesn’t look like a young player and every time he plays he has the capacity to create a difference with the opponent,” Bielsa told Leeds Live.
“The action of goal is not linked to his best virtues, his best skills, apart from the fact it was an important point during the game. Every time he plays he makes the difference.”
Teammate Pablo Hernandez has also sung the praises of Clarke recently. The Spanish star spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post, insisting that the youngster has a big future ahead of him at Elland Road.
“He (Clarke) has a lot of quality and I think he has a good future with this club,” Hernandez said. “He can be a big player in the future for Leeds United and he gives us different things on the pitch, on the wing and on both wings.
“He’ll have more opportunities this season and the young players are important for us. They bring some positive things to the team.”
“After the press, Clarke took the ball and I’m free,” Hernandez said “I asked him for the ball, he passed it to me, the ball came with a bounce and I didn’t have too much time. I didn’t know if I had any opponent behind me so I shot and it wasn’t the best shot in my life. But importantly it was a goal.”
It will be interesting to see if Bielsa keeps his faith in Alioski for United’s upcoming game against Queens Park Rangers this weekend, or if he opts to give 18-year-old Clarke his first start for Leeds United instead.