Things have not quite panned out the way that Jack Clarke will have been hoping they would since he left Leeds United.
Tottenham paid in the region of £10 million to prize the winger away from his boyhood club in July 2019 but the year and a half since has seen Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites make a famous return to the Premier League, while Clarke has twice failed to impose himself while out on loan.
Recent reports have suggested that the 20-year-old could be on the move once again in January but rather than seek another return to the division where he cut his teeth, the Championship, joining League One promotion hopefuls Charlton Athletic could be the ideal next step for the player and the Addicks.
Dropping down to the third tier may seem a step backward of sorts but it could be just what he needs to kick-on.
Clarke was initially loaned back to Leeds ahead of the 2019/20 season but made just seven appearances before that move was cut short in January. His time at QPR in the second half of the campaign provided marginally more minutes but similar frustration.
Two substitute appearances in the Europa League have seen the 20-year-old make his Tottenham bow but regular senior football would surely be the best thing for his development now.
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Spurs seem to share that thought, with Football Insider reporting they’re keen to send him out on loan, and after two ultimately disappointing spells back in the Championship, a move to League One – where he would surely be guaranteed regular football and is more likely thrive – may be just what he needs to rediscover the form that made him look a star in the making at Leeds.
The Addicks may not have been linked with the Spurs winger yet but Lee Bowyer’s squad looks as though it could do with a January boost to aid the club’s promotion hopes and the arrival of a hungry Premier League forward determined to prove himself would be just that.
Charlton has proven a fantastic place for top-flight loanees under Bowyer, as the likes of Conor Gallagher and Josh Cullen can attest to, trusting them with Clarke could be a very wise move for Tottenham in January.