Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho utilised the full extent of his squad earlier this week.
Due to Spurs’ participation in this season’s Europa League, they have regularly been playing on Thursdays and this week was no different.
Ludogorets were the visitors to north London and they were comfortably dispatched by a rotated Spurs team, who won 4-0.
Carlos Vinicius scored twice, Harry Winks netted an inadvertent screamer from over 50 yards, and Lucas Moura capped the victory in the 73rd minute.
The team featured the likes of Joe Hart, Gareth Bale, Dele Alli, and Japhet Tanganga, a quartet who have been used either sporadically or not at all in the league this season.
Mourinho also made full use of his bench, introducing just one senior player, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, from the bench.
He also brought on four youngsters: Alfie Whiteman, Jack Clarke, Harvey White, and Dane Scarlett. The latter became Spurs’ youngest ever player as a result of his inclusion.
It was the second appearance in the competition for Clarke, who also came on as a substitute against LASK earlier this season.
And Noel Whelan, the former Leeds United midfielder, is delighted to see the ex-Whites winger being integrated into Mourinho’s plans, having struggled for minutes during his loan spell back at Elland Road last season.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “We did worry. When he’s gone out on loan, when he came back to Leeds, he wasn’t playing, he didn’t look the same player.
“Then he went to QPR, probably even worse loan than it was at Leeds, then we didn’t know where he was going to be – was he gonna go back out on loan? No. I think they’ve given him an opportunity, they’re trying to progress him as a football player.
“They’ve given him the opportunity in the first team on Thursday and for once he’s taken it. I think he’s taken it, I think he’s taken it on board.
“I think it does make a difference when you’ve signed for a club and you do spend a bit of time there, rather than be loaned down straight away, you do feel more part of the furniture and part of the team and the squad.
“It will bring the best out of him because he’s playing against better players week in, week out and learning the style of play that Jose Mourinho wants.
“Another great turnaround, (Tanguy) Ndombele, you look at Jack Clarke – two players that looked certain for the exit door. Now, very much in the plans.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Clarke has been given chances and it is down to him to grab them.
Mourinho clearly believes that he can make an impact and is exposing him to first-team football slowly but surely.
There is a reason that he was brought in under Mauricio Pochettino; the ceiling on the 20-year-old remains incredibly high.
He is an England U20 international, a tricky, jinking winger, and as the season progresses, he is sure to be given the chance to develop even further.
That can only be an exciting thing for Spurs fans.News Now - Sport News