Leeds United recently sold young winger Jack Clarke to Tottenham Hotspur for £10 million, and it brought about a discussion as to whether this was good business for the club or not. The Elland Road outfit did get the player back on a season-long loan deal from the North London giants, but they have essentially lost a highly promising talent for a meagre amount of money in today’s market. Were the Whites right to sell Clarke, or should they have held out and developed the 18-year-old prospect further?
United will be going into the new Championship campaign hoping they can go one better than last season and achieve automatic promotion to the Premier League. The West Yorkshire side narrowly missed out last term after sitting in the division’s top two places for much of the competition. It is expected that Marcelo Bielsa’s men will come back stronger and challenge for the title, after having learnt from their devastating decline. Indeed, Leeds are 9/2 in the Championship betting to top the table, ahead of relegated sides Fulham, Cardiff, and Huddersfield.
Leeds were hoping to keep hold of most of their best players and gifted academy graduates, but due to financial fair play rules, it seems that chairman Andrea Radrizzani has had to make efforts to balance the books. Fans will have been hoping to see local lad Clarke challenge for a more secured starting role in Bielsa’s line-up, but the winger who scored two crucial goals last time out was one of the first players out of the door after attracting interest from last season’s Champions League runners up.
To get £10 million for a player who only made his professional debut in 2018-19 and started on a mere four occasions sounds like a great deal on paper. However, Clarke appears to be someone who could turn into a star under the guidance of a manager like Bielsa. Now, Leeds will continue to help Clarke with his progress but it will be Spurs who benefit from this in the long run. Along with the loss of Clarke, United have also had to say goodbye to fan favourite central defender Pontus Jansson, who joined Brentford for £5.5 million after reportedly having a disagreement with the boss.
It isn’t all bad news for United, though, and the sales of these players have freed up funds for the club to conduct other transfer swoops. A deal has already been sealed for Helder Costa from Wolves, a forward who was absolutely devastating for the Midlands club when they were vying for promotion in the 2017-18 campaign. The Portuguese international could be the extra bit of star power that Leeds need to make the final push back to the top flight.
Clarke will certainly be missed when he joins Spurs permanently, but selling him to free up funds and then signing him back on loan looks like a great bit of business. United have a superb academy which churns out talented youngsters, and more players will crop up to fill the void left by Clarke.