Brighton opinion: Seagulls in for Matt Clarke – a smart decision?
According to the Daily Mail, Brighton are very close to signing Portsmouth star Matt Clarke for a rather meagre £3million fee. The 22-year-old had an interesting season in the League One for the Pompey, and it has seen him linked to a myriad of clubs.
This includes Championship side Stoke City and Brighton, with the latter coming close to winning the race. That should come as little surprise after the season that the Seagulls have had, with them struggling to do much in the Premier League.
Sure, for most of the season, Brighton was just another average mid-table side. But things changed post-February, which was the last time the club sat in 13th place after the end of the match-week. Things went from bad to worse for the club, with them winning a grand total of 9 points from their final 13 games.
It includes an eight-game winless run towards the end of the season and if it wasn’t for Cardiff City’s struggles, things would have been worse. There was a massive chance that Brighton would have been the ones to have gotten relegated and not the Bluebirds.
But that’s just the way the Premier League works and Brighton lived to fight another day, which is why adding Matt Clarke makes a lot of sense. The 22-year-old is a talented centre-back and is probably the natural heir to Lewis Dunk.
The Brighton centre-backs have been brilliant this season and arguably their best players by a large margin. And that kind of form attracts interest, which is just what has happened to Lewis Dunk, with Leicester City looking at the 27-year-old.
That leaves the Seagulls with a rather large hole in their back-line, which is just what Matt Clarke can fill. A no-nonsense centre-back, the left-footer is a confident and dominant player.
Furthermore, his mobility and drive to start moves will only help the Seagulls as he matures and improves even further. But at the same time, Matt Clarke still has that grit and never-say-die spirit that Brighton centre-backs need.
It’s why he’d make an exceptional partner for Shane Duffy and a great replacement for Lewis Dunk. Plus at a mere £3 million, the move is an absolute bargain for the Seagulls, which is what they should be focusing on.
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While Brighton does need new attackers in their lineup, at the same time, the club also needs new defenders to help them replace the ones they might lose. The Seagulls might undergo a big change this summer and adding someone like Matt Clarke will only help their cause next season.