Jack Clarke interest gives Leeds opportunity to make big statement

Leeds United's Jack Clarke takes on Sheffield United's Enda Stevens during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Leeds United at Bramall Lane on December 1, 2018 in...

Leeds United are reportedly going to have to fend off interest in Jack Clarke from Manchester City.

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

One of the factors that has made Leeds' time out of the top flight much easier to deal with for the Elland Road faithful is the production line at Thorp Arch that churns out incredibly talented youngsters at a remarkably regular rate.

While not every player has gone on to reach the level that some would have expected, Leeds are able to take the credit for developing a number of players who now find themselves in the Premier League or upper echelons of the Championship.

The Whites youngster being tipped for the greatest things right now is Jack Clarke, who is breaking into Marcelo Bielsa's plans this season after catching the eye for the under-23s on a regular basis.

 

Clarke is arguably as exciting as any prospect that Leeds have produced in recent years. And he is now showing why there is so much hype with his first few performances in the first-team. 

It was his clever assist that allowed Pablo Hernandez to score the winner against Sheffield United on Saturday, and it is surely not going to be long before he is being included in the starting lineup.

Unfortunately for Leeds, it also appears that it is not going to be long until he is attracting bids from elsewhere. The Sun have reported this week that Manchester City are eyeing a move for the 18-year-old having monitored his progress for more than a year.

Leeds United's Jack Clarke battles with Nottingham Forest's Ben Osborn at Elland Road on October 27, 2018 in Leeds, England.

When you consider everything that a move to Manchester City has to offer, it is not difficult to understand why Clarke may be tempted if the chance does come his way.

But staying at Leeds could also be an attractive proposition given the respective paths that lead to first-team football. And if the Whites can convince Clarke to stay put, that would arguably be a huge statement.

In previous years, they have struggled to hold onto their best youngsters once Premier League sides come calling. The likes of Fabian Delph and Lewis Cook left during periods when Leeds were showing few signs of being able to get themselves into the promotion mix in the Championship.

Leeds United's Jack Clarke takes on Sheffield United's Enda Stevens during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Leeds United at Bramall Lane on December 1, 2018 in...

But, while it is going to be incredibly difficult if Manchester City bid, perhaps Leeds are now finally in a position that will enable them to convince their brightest starlet to stay.

That would surely be one of the biggest statements that the Whites could make regarding the progress they have made and the direction they are heading in. 

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