Everything you need to know about Jack Clarke as Tottenham's ex-Leeds United attacker signs for Sunderland

Sunderland have signed Tottenham winger Jack Clarke on loan – but will he be a good fit for the Black Cats?

Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 3:31 pm

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Lee Johnson’s priority is still to bring in another striker this month, with a worrying lack of options behind top scorer Ross Stewart.

So, after the Black Cats completed the signing of Patrick Roberts last week, do they need another wide player?

We’ve taken a closer look at Clarke’s situation.

Jack Clarke playing for Stoke City.

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Who is Jack Clarke?

Clarke came through the ranks at Leeds United, after joining their academy aged eight, and has also represented England at under-20s level.

The winger broke into the senior team at Elland Road during the 2018/19 season, under Marcelo Bielsa, before being snapped up by Tottenham for a reported £10million.

Clarke was loaned straight back to Leeds on loan for the following campaign but hardly featured in the Championship.

The winger has also had loan spells at QPR and Stoke, making 14 appearances for the Potters in the second half of last season.

What are Clarke’s strengths?

Clarke is right footed and has predominantly played on the right flank.

He is a direct winger who likes to take defenders on, yet his final product has been questioned at times.

When asked about Clarke in March, Stoke boss Michael O’Neill said: “Jack is a young player we brought to the club and he’s been involved in every game essentially.

"We’ve been pleased with what Jack’s contribution has been. There are areas he has to improve on still but he’s a very talented young player.

"Jack just has to be patient and when he does get an opportunity make sure he does enough to stay in the team or force me to start him in the next game."

Where would Clarke fit in at Sunderland?

On the face of it Clarke’s arrivall may seem a little surprising given the Black Cats have just brought in Roberts, who also prefers to play on the right in a 4-2-3-1 system.

Sunderland have Alex Pritchard and Elliot Embleton competing for the playmaker positions, while Lynden Gooch, Leon Dajaku, Aiden O’Brien and Aiden McGeady (when fit) can operate in wide areas.

Jack Diamond is another option on the flank, though the 22-year-old is expected to be loaned back to Harrogate Town this month.

There is also the possibility of other Sunderland players leaving this month, though Johnson has said the club don’t have to sell their assets.

What do Sunderland need in the final week of the transfer window?

Signing another striker is a must, with Johnson confirming on Saturday the Black Cats remain in talks with Jermain Defoe

The squad also appears a little light in central midfield due to Luke O’Nien’s shoulder injury.

While Sunderland have players who can play in multiple positions, Denver Hume’s move to Portsmouth means Dennis Cirkin and Trai Hume are the only recognised and available full-backs in the squad, with the latter still yet to feature since his move from Linfield FC.

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