By Mark Smith

22nd Dec, 2019 | 10:30am

MOT View: Leeds decision in Fulham defeat gives insight to possible 19y/o replacement

Jack Clarke has struggled for any game time this season at Leeds United, and Saturday saw him miss out on the matchday squad completely in the 2-1 defeat at Fulham.

Instead, Marcelo Bielsa opted for Jordan Stevens from the under-23 squad. That decision could be the latest hint that Clarke is set to return to Tottenham in January.

It would come as no surprise given the fact that the winger has only featured for 19 minutes in the Championship for the Whites.

That possibility of the 19-year-old being recalled has led to many Leeds fans questioning who would come in and replace him, and whether or not it will force Victor Orta into action next month.

The Sun journalist Alan Nixon recently responded to a fan on his personal Twitter account claiming that Leeds will most likely promote another young player from their academy should Clarke leave in January.

“Might just promote from within,” he wrote. Hard to get a club to loan a player to you who won’t play. Hard to get a player to come on that basis either,” he added.

The decision to bring on Stevens in the final quarter of the game at Craven Cottage is a big suggestion that Bielsa believes the winger is ready to make the step up and cement a spot in the first-team squad this season.

Having watched the under-23s regularly this season, we have no complaints behind the decision. Stevens needs to find a level of consistency in his game to justify the decision, and if he can do that, there are no reasons why he can’t find the success that Clarke did last season.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay: This is what I’ve heard on Leeds’ plans to strengthen midfield in January