Stoke on Trent journalist, Pete Smith has revealed that Jack Clarke has impressed since joining Stoke City in January but admitted that the Tottenham youngster needs to be more ruthless in the final third.
Clarke had a really disappointing 2019/20 season as he struggled to make an impression during his loan spells with Leeds or QPR.
Jose Mourinho decided to keep the winger at Spurs for the first half of the season and the 20-year-old not only got an opportunity to train with the likes of Harry Kane and Gareth Bale but he also got a couple of senior appearances under his belt for the North Londoners.
That seems to have done Clarke’s confidence a world of good as the youngster has looked quite dangerous since joining Stoke.
Smith told Football.London regarding the Spurs man’s performances at the Bet 365 stadium: “He’s shown glimpses of what he might offer, at his best when he running at defenders.
“At the moment, he’s probably been more useful drawing fouls than getting killer deliveries into the final third but he’s been unlucky not to have a few assists to his name.
“A couple of his crosses which have been converted have been chalked off for marginal offside calls and he’s also been unlucky that Steven Fletcher and Tyrese Campbell, Stoke’s main strikers, have either been playing through pain or out injured.
“Stoke’s xG, if you’re into that kind of thing, is 1.43 when he’s playing but they’ve only averaged 0.83 actual goals.”
However, Clarke is yet to establish himself in the Stoke side, starting just 6 of 14 games since his move to the club.
When asked what the winger needs to do to start regularly, Smith said: “Probably be more ruthless.
“Stoke need their wingers to supply goals and assists pretty regularly if they’re going with a 4-3-3 and that what will be his currency.”
However, the journalist suggested that the youngster is unlikely to return to Stoke on loan next season.
He added: “Loans are such an important market for Championship clubs because of the Financial Fair Play rules. You need them to fizz. Clarke can probably be a game-changer at some point down the line but how soon can you rely on him to do that fairly regularly?
“There’s no doubt he would benefit from a season in the Championship but Stoke’s priority will be trying to build a squad to challenge for promotion rather than develop someone else’s player. If he does re-sign it will be a big show of faith.”
Spurs Web Opinion
From the cameos Clarke has had for Spurs, he seems like a technically tidy player who is lacking the aggression and drive to make more of an impact on games. Based on Smith’s assessment, it does not seem like we have learned anything new about the 20-year-old from his time at Stoke. I expect the former Leeds man to be loaned out to a Championship club again next season.
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