Tottenham Hotspur’s January window has been quiet so far. The extent of the north London club’s activity has been to recall Jack Clarke, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kazaiah Sterling from their temporary homes. They probably won’t be back at Hotspur Way for longer than a couple of weeks if the club gets their way, and it looks like Clarke will be headed out the door sooner rather than later.
Sky Sports has reported that, according to their sources, the club is currently fielding offers from four Championship sides to bring in the 19-year-old winger on loan for the rest of the season. Given that Clarke played a total of 134 minutes in just three appearances for Leeds United, basically any move where he’ll see playing time is a welcome one.
So what clubs are in for his services? At the top of the list are fellow London clubs Millwall and Queens Park Rangers. Millwall currently sit seventh in the table and are in the hunt for a playoff spot. They’re just one point behind Swansea and are looking to bolster their attacking options. QPR, meanwhile, are in 15th place yet are only six points out of the play-off themselves. It bears mentioning that QPR’s Director of Football is former Tottenham player Les Ferdinand. It’s been widely reported Spurs and QPR have a great relationship and currently have Luke Amos on loan. Keeping Clarke in London wouldn’t be the worst thing and to have him join a fellow loanee certainly doesn’t hurt.
Joining the London clubs in the chase for the teenager are Middlesbrough and Stoke City. Putting aside the FA Cup replay next week, Boro certainly can use the help for a late push into the play-off as they are firmly stuck in the mid-table under the leadership of former Spurs players Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Keane. They may try to call in a favor of their former club regardless of how that match goes next week.
The wild card here are Stoke City. The Potters are in a relegation scrap, sitting just one point above the drop zone and desperately need help. While their output of 33 goals through 26 matches isn’t terrible, only 18 of them have come from open play. They’ve been lethal on set pieces but it’s clear they could use a jolt in their attacking band. It may not be the sexy choice given that Stoke are kind of bad, but it also means that Clarke could see a ton of playing time for a team that is fighting for survival.
Circling back to the recall, Leeds screwed this loan up from the start. When Spurs purchased him for a reported £10m back in the summer, Leeds took him back on loan for what was supposed to be the entire 2019/20 campaign. The problem is that Leeds brought in five more players on loan in more vital positions and the Championship has a rule that a club cannot have more than five players in a match-day squad. This left Clarke on the outside looking in and Spurs need him to get minutes. Recalling him made a ton of sense and now another club should benefit from Leeds’ error. It probably won’t matter to them, given they are top of the Championship with West Bromwich Albion, but it would have been nice to see Clarke playing for a side that wins promotion.