This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has added to his squad with the signing of Tottenham winger Jack Clarke on loan until the end of the season, it has been confirmed on the club website.
The 19-year-old spent the first half of the season on loan at former club Leeds but made just three appearances and was recalled earlier this month, ironically though Clarke could make his debut for the R’s against the Whites on Saturday.
So should Warburton look to start Clarke at the weekend?
“No, I think it would be a mistake to put him into the starting XI on Saturday.
“The teenager only featured three times while on loan at Leeds in the first half of the season, so you’d question if he was ready for 90 minutes.
“He’ll need some time to adapt to QPR’s style of play and get fully match fit but he is certainly worth including on the bench.
“Clarke will surely want to prove to Bielsa that he was wrong not to give him more of a chance this season, so throwing him on as a substitute could be a smart move.”
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“Given the great form of the current players starting for QPR coupled with the lack of game time Clarke has got at Elland Road, I doubt he’ll be starting against the Whites.
“Bright Osayi-Samuel and Eberechi Eze are currently operating out wide and are two of the most talented wingers in the division so it will be a tall order for Clarke to immediately displace either of them.
“Having made just one league appearance this season, the winger will need time to get up to speed for how Mark Warburton wants him to play, so thrusting him straight into the lineup might be naive, even if he has a point to prove.
“Most of his best performances to date have come as a substitute under Marcelo Bielsa against tired full-backs, so that could be the best way to build him up to speed.”
“First of all, this could be an excellent signing.
“Queens Park Rangers have done very well to get a player of the quality of Jack Clarke, and from what we’ve seen this season he could fit in seamlessly in West London.
“Mark Warburton has built an young and exciting attacking team and that’s something which should give Clarke the perfect platform to develop.
“The 19-year-old hasn’t played much football this term so a starting spot against his former club Leeds United this weekend is probably a long-shot, but there’s no reason why he can’t be involved in some capacity.
“The task for Warburton is to get him fully fit as quick as possible, and what better way to do that than my throwing Clarke into the mix against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
“Who knows, he may just come back to haunt him.”