As a young player coming through at Leeds, Jack Clarke attracted lots of interest from the Premier League with his pace and skill. Now plying his trade for Sunderland, the winger has found his top form again.
A £15million move to Tottenham in 2019 was the break that Jack Clarke was looking for. As he left his boyhood club to fulfil his Premier League dream, moving to London was the start of a rocky few years for the Yorkshireman.
Loan moves to QPR and Stoke City were hampered by injury and in 20 games, Clarke didn’t score or assist once. This made it very hard for him to stake a claim to break through into the Spurs first team and, other than a couple of European appearances in the Conference League, Clarke became surplus to requirements.
In January of this year, Jack Clarke moved to Sunderland on loan for the remainder of the season. Whilst he didn’t exactly set the world alight with his performances, Clarke was magnificent in the three play-off games. It was obvious that Clarke would be better in the level above, where there is more space in behind defences, as opposed to the League One defences which would stick 10 men behind the ball.
When the Black Cats won promotion in May, fans were hopeful that the ownership would invest in Clarke as one of the first summer signings.
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and his recruitment did exactly that and Clarke was once again a Sunderland player in July, for good…
His early season form has proved exactly why Sunderland spent over £4million on him – a relatively large fee for a newly promoted Championship team to make. Clarke has followed up his goal on the opening day with four assists and three other wonderful goals against Rotherham, Reading and Swansea which has earnt him huge praise from the media, his teammates and the fanbase.
Sometimes a frustrating player, Clarke showcases a huge inventory of talent which will take him a very long way in a rapidly evolving game. Should he maintain this level of consistency and output, there is no reason why he cannot play at a much higher level soon.
A level which was the dream when he made the brave move from Leeds to Tottenham. And who knows, he may come back to haunt Spurs in the very near future…