Start getting excited, because it looks like Tottenham Hotspur’s long transfer drought might soon be over. Numerous journalists, including Dan Kilpatrick at the Evening Standard, are reporting that Spurs are close to the signing of 18-year old Leeds winger Jack Clarke, and that the club expect a transfer fee of about £8.5m.
Contrary to reports in some of the tabloid papers in England, Kilpatrick states that no deal has been reached yet with the Championship club for the transfer of Clarke, and that’s going to probably get the caustic ire up of a lot of people who are reading this. However, the general tenor of all the reports I’ve seen on the Clarke transfer thus far is that all parties expect this to be completed, and probably in the near future. This isn’t a £60m+ transfer, so the horse trading and haggling will most likely shake itself out sooner rather than later.
Clarke is considered one of the best young talents in England at present and had a breakthrough season last year with Leeds, scoring two goals and tallying two assists in just under 900 minutes of action. That’ s not a lot, but remember that he was 17 at the time. Clarke is expected to stay at Spurs after his signing and fight for a first team place instead of returning to Leeds on loan, as some have suggested.
Is Clarke going to be the signing that propels Spurs up a level? Probably not initially. However, Spurs have a long history of signing young talent out of the Championship (or lower) — Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, and Dele Alli were all signed out of the lower divisions, and I’m sure I’m missing other players who had a significant impact after being signed to Spurs young. Clarke is exactly the kind of player they should be targeting as they look to the future, and £8.5m is a stupid low fee for a player of his ability. Tanguy Ndombele, whom Kilpatrick says is Spurs’ “top target” this window, is the kind of player Spurs should be targeting as they try and improve the current team.
It’s not a done deal (yes, I hear the derision coming from the comments) but this looks like a signing that will happen, and for a price that looks to be extremely good.