Leeds winger Jack Clarke has just been handed a lifeline

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Leeds went into their clash with Charlton at the weekend having made one enforced change to the starting XI.

Out dropped Pablo Hernandez who was injured while Helder Costa came into start his very first Championship game for the Whites.

After Marcelo Bielsa admitted that would happen in his pre-match press conference it wasn’t a surprise whatsoever.

What was a surprise, though, was Jack Clarke’s inclusion in the 18 man matchday squad.

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Clarke has become a hugely neglected figure at Elland Road after rejoining the club following a permanent move to Spurs in the summer.

Restricted to minutes in the U23s and just two first-team appearances, he’s not been able to show the same sort of quality that saw him net against Aston Villa last season.

An illness has seemingly taken his career downhill and this season he is yet to prove why Tottenham ever snapped him up.

Rumours have swirled around suggesting that he could return to north London, but as far as his loan spell goes, Bielsa has just handed him a major lifeline.

Courtesy of Leeds’ lack of options on the bench with Hernandez on the sidelines, he’s come back into the side.

Dropping out because of a rule that prevents a team from having more than five loan players in a squad was Illan Meslier.

What the future holds for him remains to be seen but the wide man now certainly has a chance to stake somewhat of a claim and there would be no better time than against an unbeaten West Brom on Tuesday evening.

Is Jack Clarke's loan spell pointless?

Yes

Yes

No

No

When Leeds drew 1-1 with Derby they lacked genuine options to help them push for a second goal. His fresh legs and energy from a wide position might have helped in that regard and clearly Bielsa noticed he was lacking something in his squad ahead of the Charlton match.

This is a huge positive for Clarke who burst onto the scene courtesy of substitute appearances last term.

If he can do the same he might just be able to salvage something from a 2019/20 season which has so far been full of frustration.

Article title: Leeds winger Jack Clarke has just been handed a lifeline

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