‘It just hasn’t happened for him’ – Bent admits he expected more from Spurs youngster

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Darren Bent
Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Darren Bent has revealed that he expected Jack Clarke to evolve into a top player when he first broke into the Leeds United side during the 2018-19 season and admitted his surprise at how things have gone downhill for the youngster.

Tottenham paid £10m to land Clarke from Leeds on the back of his breakthrough season in the Championship.

However, the youngster experienced a frustrating campaign last season after he struggled to get game time in his loan spell back at Leeds as well along with his subsequent stint at QPR.

Spurs opted not to send the 20-year-old out on loan during the summer window, with the winger instead having the opportunity to train with the first-team and even getting a few senior matches under his belt.

The wide man has recently joined Stoke City on loan until the end of the season and received some decent reviews on his debut performance for the Potters when he came off the bench just past the hour mark in their 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

When asked about Clarke’s loan move to Stoke, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah, I mean we’re talking about it being two years in the summer since he signed and I feel like he’s no closer to actually staying there and nailing down a spot.

“From where he broke through, I thought wow, this kid’s going to be something special and it just hasn’t happened for him. He went back to Leeds, didn’t play so it’s kind of hindered him a little bit now because he’s probably thinking, well, I deserve to play, I want to play.

“He might be justified in that but if you’re looking at the Spurs team, you’re thinking, well, I can kind of understand my reasons why I’m not playing – Son’s been superb and it’s probably hard to argue against that.

“For him, he’s most definitely got to go out to play some football.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Even though Clarke is fairly young and we have seen with examples like that of Harry Kane that players can recover from poor loan spells, one does get the feeling that the youngster’s time at Stoke could be a potential crossroads in his career. If he fails to have much of an impact at Bet365 stadium, it is hard to see how the 20-year-old can have a career at the top level.

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