Given how their respective afternoons played out on Saturday, it would be a surprise if Jack Clarke did not replace Gjanni Alioski in Leeds’ starting lineup for the game against QPR this weekend.
Alioski’s form has been alarming for a while. The Macedonia international has not scored or provided an assist since September. Meanwhile, Clarke’s stock continues to rise.
The exciting winger is no longer Leeds’ best kept secret. And he staked a further claim to earn his first Whites start by providing the assist for Pablo Hernandez against Sheffield United.
It was a moment of real maturity in the midst of a calamitous passage of play. Clarke cleverly lifted the ball over Dean Henderson to allow Hernandez to score a massive goal.
And if Bielsa did not have enough reason to make a change already, a concerning report should provide additional motivation.
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It must be an incredibly exciting prospect for the 18-year-old. But Leeds surely stand a chance of convincing him to stay.
His path into the first-team is much clearer where he is currently. He is already on the cusp of becoming an important player for Bielsa. At City on the other hand, there is a frightening pecking order for Clarke to potentially try and work his way through.
Leeds therefore, perhaps have an opportunity to convince the wide-man to stay. But making it evidently clear that he will be a regular starter may be key for the Whites.
The situation with Clarke undoubtedly provides all the more reason for Bielsa to take Alioski out of the side for the time-being.