Leeds United are top of the table and are attempting to get promoted, looking to get back playing in the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Besides Marcelo Bielsa, who has been brilliant in getting almost the same collection of players that were on the roster in the 2017-18 season to play like champions, the rising stars of the Academy have been the surprise addition to the team.
One of the up-and-coming players this season for Leeds has been 18 year-old Jack Clarke. And as is the case with almost every single good young Championship player, he’s been linked with a bunch of big money moves to the Premier League, with teams such as Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur all reportedly interested in him.
Clarke’s agent is a familiar name for Leeds fans, as Ian Harte played for the club for nine seasons, including many of the glory years of the early 2000s, including scoring a free-kick against Deportivo La Coruña in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Harte was one of the players who left the club in 2004 after Leeds were relegated, and he went on to play for a variety of clubs, including Levante in Spain, and then Portsmouth, Reading FC, and a few others clubs in England.
It seems a bit odd that Harte would announce at the end, and not the beginning, of a window that his client wouldn’t be going anywhere, but he’s an agent, so he’s obviously looking out for his client’s financial interests. Leeds have reportedly rebuffed any interest in Clarke up until now, so while it’s nice to get a confirmation from Harte, the willingness of Leeds to sell is the more important part of the story. Leeds are closer to a promotion than they have been in over a decade, and cashing in on Clarke for around £10 million seems a bit short-sighted when the club can get a minimum of almost £100 million in TV revenue just by getting promoted.
Keeping Clarke at Leeds and getting promoted is far better for both the player and the club, as Clarke can stay and get playing time to develop, and the club will benefit from having a young talent stay at the club.