Why Nottingham Forest should move for Jack Clarke in January
The 18-year-old, who burst on to the scene at Leeds United in the Championship last term, scored and assisted two apiece for the West Yorkshire giants during their march to the playoffs before earning an £8.5m move to the capital with Tottenham in the summer.
Clarke was immediately loaned back to Elland Road for the entirety of the ongoing campaign as a part of the deal but the talented teenager has suffered a drastic fall in grace since his return to his boyhood club, with manager Marcelo Bielsa yet to hand him an appearance in the Championship.
The highly-rated York-born England U-20 international has only featured for the Whites in the Carabao Cup fixtures against Salford City and Stoke City while failing to make the matchday squads for the Championship games due to norms that restrict the manager from including more than five loanees in the 18-man squad.
Now with Clarke struggling for regular playtime in the Championship, Tottenham could exercise their recall clause for the 18-year-old when the transfer window reopens in January, and a few other Championship clubs have already been alerted to the availability of Jack Clarke during the mid-season trading period. (Sporting Life h/t Nottinghamshire Live)
As per the report, Nottingham Forest have set their sights on Jack Clarke as someone who could possibly add a bit more depth to their wide attacking options during the second half of the season, although any move is solely subject to Spurs recalling the player from his existing loan agreement at Leeds United.
Forest have returned to winning ways in the Championship with back-to-back victories over Luton Town and Derby County following a blip that saw them lose consecutive league fixtures against less fancied sides like Hull City and Wigan Athletic.
There is still a long way to go in a 46-game season but with the Reds currently sitting 5th in the standings after a bright start to life under Sabri Lamouchi, the promotion noise at the City Ground is already getting louder.
To that end, however, Forest’s returns of 20 goals in 15 games have been bettered by most of their promotion rivals so far in the campaign and an out-and-out striker with proven pedigree should be at the top of Lamouchi’s wishlist heading into the January transfer window, with Lewis Grabban currently shouldering the bulk of the goalscoring workload up top for the Reds.
With proven Championship players like Sammy Ameobi, Joe Lolley and Albert Adomah all in the ranks at the City Ground, the Reds have a strong cavalry of wide attackers, but a loan deal for Jack Clarke would still make a lot of sense given that the aforementioned trio has only shared seven goals among them so far.
The 18-year-old is still very much in his formative years as a professional but he showcased in the previous campaign that he is more than capable of making a big difference with cameos from the bench.
Clarke made as many as 20 substitute appearances for the Whites in the Championship last season and still played some of his best football, hence proving that he doesn’t necessarily need to play the full ninety minutes in order to turn the tables.
Notwithstanding the fact that Ameobi, Adomah and Lolley are all seasoned campaigners at this level, the door is pretty much open for someone like Jack Clarke to add that much-needed x-factor to Forest’s attack with his youthful exuberance.
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With that in mind, the dazzling teenager is certainly worth a punt for Lamouchi, who has already illustrated his proficiency to extract the best out of several young players at the City Ground.