Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds (broadcast on 27/8 from 22:00) that he was disappointed with Jack Clarke's performance in Leeds' Carabao Cup tie with Stoke City, and suggested that the Spurs-owned winger would probably admit that he was not good enough.
Clarke has endured a difficult time since returning to Elland Road on loan in the wake of completing his £10 million move to Tottenham during the summer (fee reported by the Guardian).
The winger has not made the first-team squad for a Championship game since the draw with Nottingham Forest with Leeds ending the summer with six loan signings in their ranks. He did feature in the first round cup tie with Salford City, and got another chance to impress against the Potters on Tuesday.
However, it was not to be Clarke's night as he was one of three players brought off by Marcelo Bielsa at half-time as Leeds looked to fight back from 2-0 down. His cause was probably not helped by the second-half comeback the Whites produced which sent the game to penalties - though, it was ultimately Stoke who would go through after the shootout.
After the game, Whelan was asked what could be behind Clarke's struggles since the start of the season. And it appears that the former Leeds striker felt that he needs more game-time, but suggested that he did not take the chance that came his way.
"I can't speculate on what goes on on the training ground, and it would be unfair of me to do so. He's a young lad who's made a move to Tottenham, come back on loan, not rare these days, lots of players do that," he told BBC Radio Leeds.
"I was expecting a lot more from him this evening. Just goes to show that he's still got a lot to learn about himself and his game. He is a young boy, let's not forget that. It's a learning curve for everybody when they go out there, but yeah, I was expecting a lot more from him, and he'd probably admit the same as well that it's not his normal performance. But he does look like he's in need of games and minutes."
Unfortunately for Clarke, it seems to have been a while since Leeds fans have seen him change a game like he did on a number of occasions when he burst into the team during the opening months of last season.
And with Jack Harrison stepping his game up significantly, Helder Costa impressing when he is getting a chance and Pablo Hernandez looking as good as he ever has done, it is becoming difficult to see Clarke forcing his way into the side and enjoying a decent run in the team, especially now that Leeds' cup run is over.
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