Crystal Palace opinion: Why the Eagles should go all out for Ciaran Clark
Clark, 29, started just 11 games for Newcastle last season, falling behind the likes of Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez in the pecking order. This could have him considering his future ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has a lot of work to do, but time is very much against his club. He has so far managed only a couple of new signings and in order to break into the top half of the Premier League table next term, he’ll need to add more quality and depth to his squad.
Plus, the Eagles will need to keep hold of their star forward Wilfried Zaha, by hook or crook, amidst fresh interest from Everton.
Hodgson must prioritise addressing two areas this summer, with a right-back needed to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka following his switch to Manchester United. But he also needs competition at centre-back after heavily relying on Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins last season.
Palace do have the likes of Scott Dann, Martin Kelly and Jairo Riedewald as options in central defence, and signing Ciaran Clark would be a step in the right direction in increasing the depth of the squad.
Clark joined Newcastle from Aston Villa in 2016 and played a crucial role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League a couple of seasons ago. But since the Magpies’ promotion, it seems as though the 29-year-old has become a bit of a forgotten figure on Tyneside, and is open to a move this summer.
Under the new management of Steve Bruce, the Republic of Ireland international will have the chance to stake his claim but given the two players in front of him, it would be a surprise if he were to force his way into the team.
However, Clark would find it easier to break into Palace’s starting XI next season, should he move, due to Sakho’s inconsistency and injury problems.
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The change of environment for the versatile Clark, who can also play as a left-back, should be the right move for him to reignite his stuttering career.
Clark has solid Premier League experience and his versatility would also come handy for Hodgson. Thus, he would undoubtedly prove to be a very useful addition for the Eagles and would in turn help them finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.