Clarke departure should force Leeds action – Whelan

Leeds United
Tottenham have completed the signing of midfielder Jack Clarke on a four-year deal and sent him back to Leeds on a season-long loan.

Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan says it is imperative the Whites find a replacement for Jack Clarke if the on-loan winger returns to Tottenham.

England Under-20 international Clarke was sold to Spurs in the summer for a reported £10million before he was immediately loaned back to Leeds for the 2019/20 Championship campaign.

However, the Whites signed six loanees during that transfer window and with EFL rules only allowing five on-loan players in a matchday squad, one individual has had to be left out.

Unfortunately for Clarke, he has been the person to excluded and he has not featured in the league this season, with his only two appearances coming in the EFL Cup.

It is widely expected that the 18-year-old will have his loan spell cut short in January before then being sent out to another club on a temporary basis for the second half of the campaign.

With Clarke’s expected departure along with injuries to Pablo Hernandez and Eddie Nketiah, Leeds’ squad is looking slightly think and Whelan has urged action to be taken into the New Year.

“We have a thin squad. We can’t afford to lose any players in January,” he told Football Insider. “The whole squad is going to be needed in the new year if we are going to get out of this league.

“If we haven’t got Jack after January we need to find someone else. He must be replaced.”

Leeds, who are third in the Championship and just two points behind table-toppers West Brom, return to action on November 23 when they make the trip to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town, who are on a four-game losing run and sit just one place above the relegation zone.