It took over 500 days for Spurs to sign a new player and once they did, they sent him back to his parent club for another 365 days.
Needless to say, the euphoria was short-lived and the moaning around North London began again in earnest as Jack Clarke made his way back up north, telling everyone on his way back that he had unfinished business with Leeds and was going to get the Whites promoted.
BREAKING: Tottenham confirm the signing of Jack Clarke from Leeds United—their first signing in 517 days. pic.twitter.com/P4wglGeuHV
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 2, 2019
Once the 18-year-old eventually leaves Leeds after the 2019/2020 Championship season ends, what can Spurs fans expect?
The simple answer is the jury is still very much out on Clarke and even if he did impress during Leeds’ failed promotion attempt, he didn’t offer enough for Whites fans to say for sure either way. But he did have his moments where he stole the breath of every Leeds United fan who was watching him with memorable performances coming against the Rams at Elland Road where he ran Frank Lampard’s Derby County ragged in a 2-0 win.
And then, of course, there was his solo strike against Aston Villa just before Christmas that inspired a comeback that will live with many Leeds fans until their last days. It was during this time where he looked unplayable and had every Leeds fan convinced that they were in possession of the greatest winger to come out of England, but it wasn’t to last.
A bout of illness against Boro saw him collapse near the substitutes’ bench where he would be treated by emergency services before being taken to hospital. Mercifully, the tests came back all clear and Clarke was given the go-ahead to resume his career a month later. Whilst everybody breathed a sigh of relief that the wonderkid was OK, his performances dropped massively after that, so much so that he didn’t look the player he was over Christmas and January.
This will be the season that the world gets to know a bit more about him and Spurs fans will naturally be tuning into all of Leeds’ televised games to see how their future prospect gets on. On a cautious note, there have been no reassurances from Leeds that Clarke will start and the signing of winger Helder Costa from Wolves suggests it will once more be Bielsa’s way or the highway, which may mean the Argentine refused to agree to any possible demands Spurs would have had about the amount of game time Clarke gets.
Delighted to have signed for @spursofficial and very excited for what the future brings. But for now, it’s back to @leedsunited to help them get back to where they belong💙💛#MOT #COYS pic.twitter.com/7kbmXX5vtP
— Jack Clarke (@JackClarke09) July 2, 2019
Then again, the Championship is a marathon and not a sprint and if Leeds are to live up to their football betting odds of 5/1 to win the Championship then they will have to utilize the numbers in their squad which should mean Clarke will enjoy a healthy amount of playing time.
Whatever the case may be, even if he doesn’t play every week, another season under Marcelo Bielsa, Pochettino’s self-confessed football mentor, will be priceless for his development and something no doubt Spurs were exceptionally happy about.
As it stands, £9m could be way too much for Clarke but it could also be the bargain of the century. The majority of Leeds fans will probably tell you its the latter but only time will tell.