Andrea Radrizzani and the Leeds United board are playing Russian roulette with the future of the club’s most valuable player.
Sure, Jack Clarke is not the best or most important player at the moment, but there is every sign that the Championship leaders have a potential superstar on their hands.
Hence, the elite club interest in the 18-year-old, with the reliable Football Insider reporting four Premier League clubs are to table bids for him, starting from tonight’s clash against Derby County.
Are Leeds concerned about losing the rising star, who has made a big impact since being fast-tracked into the first team in recent months?
They don’t appear to be. According to Football Insider, the club hierarchy led by Radrizzani have made the alarming decision to shelve talks over a new contract for Clarke until the end of the season.
Talk about taking a massive risk. Clarke is currently tied to the first professional deal he signed when he turned 17 in November 2017.
The way of the football world is that leaves Leeds very vulnerable to losing the player this month, as he appears keen to sign a new deal and is likely to have his head turned if his club show apparent antipathy.
Quite why the Yorkshire giants aren’t prepared to hand Clarke the improved contract he deserves after destroying Championship defences with his brilliant second-half cameos in recent times.
The player’s value is likely to have rocketed to £10million and beyond, the kind of fee that only Kemar Roofe and perhaps Pontus Jansson of the current squad could hope to replicate were they available to the market.
Should he keep his feet on the ground, Clarke is only go to get better, and that could happen very quickly if he continues to get a major first-team role.
Leeds need to stop gambling and pay the youngster what he is worth.