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…
Derby County are one of many interested parties in a loan move for Jack Clarke of Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the January transfer window, as per TEAMTalk.
The 20-year-old has stagnated in his development a touch since leaving Leeds United and was a bit part player on loan at Stoke City in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
The Rams will be looking to address their shortcomings in squad depth to try and prolong their battle against relegation to League One as much as they can under Wayne Rooney.
The relentless schedule in the Championship means that often your second string needs to be just as strong as your first and Clarke would provide good cover for versatile widemen like Louie Sibley and Kamil Jozwiak.
Here, then, we gathered the thoughts of a selection of FLW writers to see whether they believe Clarke would be a good addition for the Rams…
If they can bring him in on a temporary spell and persuade Spurs to pay a chunk of his wages, he’s one man Derby should definitely be looking to add.
Currently, they don’t have enough going forward and that has been a problem not just this term, but also during the 2020/21 season.
Considering the Rams’ current situation, their attacking record could relegate them after their points deduction.
As the last two games have shown, they can’t continue to rely on their defence to get them out of trouble and this injection of pace and enthusiasm in the form of Clarke can only be a benefit.
Derby will also need to analyse his mentality and how well he will fit in if he was to come in considering their perilous situation in the second tier, but considering there have been no reports of him misbehaving in the past, he should be the right type of character to come in and make an impact at Pride Park.
Good performances could also help him to force his way back into the England youth international setup, so there will be no shortage of motivation for him to do well.
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I think it’s really risky for Clarke if he goes there to be honest.
Derby are right in the thick of a survival fight and sometimes young players, who need to build confidence and perhaps need a bit of time to get into a rhythm like Clarke seemingly needs to as his Spurs struggles continue, can wilt.
Make no mistake, I think Clarke is a really decent player and one that at the right club could rediscover that Leeds form he had but if it didn’t work quickly at Derby you could see Wayne Rooney looking to rely on some of his more senior pros.
Of course, he could go there and tear it up but I think he needs to build into playing once more and I am not sure Derby is the environment for that, especially with how much they need quick results.
He’d be a great addition for Derby County.
Frankly, the Rams need anything they can get their hands on in January with a depleted team they could do with having added options, especially in attacking areas.
Clarke certainly has a point to prove in the Championship and regular game-time under the stewardship of Wayne Rooney could be positive for his development, albeit I do think there are other second tier clubs that’d perhaps be a better fit.
The Rams are facing a relegation dog-fight this season as a result of the points deduction this season, and Clarke will be expected to hit the ground running immediately to ensure he received adequate first-team minutes.
If Spurs pay for the majority of the wages here though, Derby should certainly look to make this happen.