Sunday, June 26, 2022

Leeds United Has A Ready Made Bamford Replacement: Bielsa Just Needs To Take The Opportunity

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

Leeds United’s 18-year-old star Jack Clarke recently set up a big win against Bristol City u-23 where the Whites ran out 5-0 winners. The forward was brilliant on the night as he set up two goals and even scored one before the half-hour mark. He could have gotten his second goal as well but was denied by the crossbar. With some first-team players like Patrick Bamford, Lewis Baker and Jack Harrison starting, Clarke looked like the one who had an actual first team experience among the lot. In the previous game against Cardiff City, he managed to score a brace.

Even in the preseasons, the forward scored three goals in three games, and it is fair to say that he is not just knocking the doors of the first team now but almost going to break it open. The youngster is the product of Leeds United’s academy, and he usually plays up front or down the right flank. The young Englishman even trained with the first team last year when Thomas Christiansen was the manager, and it seems like just a matter of time now before he gets included in the senior squad now.

The forward cum winger is adept at going past his defenders with ease but what makes him threatening is his goal-scoring prowess. He boasts a powerful shot and is technically sound when he hits the ball, and that is one the reasons why the youngster returns with such rich tally of goals almost every game now. His composure in the final third is not usually seen in players of his age, but Clarke just knows when to pull the trigger when he is in and around the penalty box.

The Englishman’s link-up play is also top notch, and he makes a good case for himself to be promoted to the first team. With Patrick Bamford’s injury concerns, now could just be the right time for that. Last season he was once on the bench for an FA Cup encounter.

If someone needs more proof of his talent then in 2017, Manchester City were interested in him when he was just a 17-year-old, but he went on to snub those advances and signed his first professional contract with the West Yorkshire outfit.

Clarke can play as a wide man down the right as well as lead the line for his side. Jack Harrison has done decently in the limited opportunities he has got on the right flank, but we believe the form which Clarke is showcasing, he should soon be drafted into the first team. Even if he doesn’t play regularly, being coached by Bielsa would prepare him better to take on the challenges at the top most level, and he would also get used to the new manager’s philosophy and tactics. 

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