One thing that Leeds United have become renowned for is the stream of talent that pours from their academy set-up.
Currently in the Premier League are the likes of James Milner and Fabian Delph, with recent graduates Lewis Cook and Charlie Taylor also featuring in the top tier.
That academy production line is one that continues to turn, with players coming through and gracing the Whites current set-up. Players like Tom Pearce and Jamie Shackleton have made inroads to the first team, but there’s special praise being reserved for one exciting starlet in particular.
Clarke has burst onto the first-team scene at Elland Road in exciting fashion. His form as an ‘impact sub’ meant that it was only a matter of time before he became a starter. That chance came against Derby County last Friday.
Clarke was mesmeric against the Rams, turning his marker inside out at times. He provided an assist in that game for Kemar Roofe’s opener, bringing his contribution to two assists and two goals in his last eight games.
Yet, the caveat is that with such production and unrealised potential comes the problem of a raised profile. This is what has happened, Clarke’s rise to prominence prompting Premier League interest.
Initially it was from the ubiquitous ‘sources’ commenting about ‘unnamed’ clubs. However, today comes news that the Whites have turned down an approach from a named club – Crystal Palace.
Leeds United have rebuffed an attempt by Crystal Palace for winger Jack Clarke. United say he’s going nowhere. #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) January 17, 2019
This tweet alone is enough to warm the hearts of every Leeds United fan, many who would feel worried at his rise in form and subsequent interest from the Premier League.
Should Clarke’s stock rise any further, and he’s starting against Stoke City at the weekend, then Whites supporters will have to brace themselves for much more, and likely concerted interest.