A host of English clubs, including Brighton and Hove Albion, are reportedly interested in Portsmouth defender Matt Clarke. The player has had an excellent season and impressed fans, pundits and scouts across England this term. His performances in the south coast have not gone unnoticed with multiple clubs pursuing his signature.
It is believed he has attracted attention not only from the Championship sides but also from teams in the English Premier League. The young defender is only 21 years old and the fact that so many clubs want him should speak volumes about his huge potential.
In the Sky Bet Championship, the teams of Bristol City and Reading want to bring him in. In the Premier League, it is Watford who are said to be greatly into the player and want to bring him in. Watford will, however, have to fight off interest from Brighton and Hove Albion and Championship winners Wolves.
The newly promoted Wolves team spent quite a lot in the last term and are well aware that they will need more reinforcement this season to survive in the league against the big boys. Watford are already implementing a philosophy that has seen them sign domestic youngsters and Clarke will just be another addition to that list. The last Premier League team interested are Brighton.
The Seagulls played decently well to survive in the league last season but they will need reinforcements to successfully spend another season at the top. Bringing in young players like Clarke will not only strengthen their team but also give them a chance to do good business by selling the player for a huge price later on.
However, getting Clarke might prove to be difficult as Portsmouth are clearly unwilling to sell their star player. Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, Pompey chairman Mark Catlin said: “Kenny Jackett (Portsmouth manager) wants to build a team around Matt Clarke.”
“We’re not under pressure to sell, it’s very much a case of keeping hold of our prize assets unless of course there’s an offer the player and the club can’t turn down. It would have to some sort of astronomical offer that I just can’t imagine coming. You can never say never of course, but we’re desperate to keep hold of our best players.”
Clarke is only 21 years old and has an extremely calm head on him. He is technically solid and will definitely mature over the years. It might be tough for Brighton to get him in but the Seagulls should definitely try and push for it as he might just be the signing that might turn out to be a surprise of the season next term.