Stoke City are to make a swoop for Portsmouth defender Matt Clarke before the closing of the transfer window, according to Football Insider.
The 22-year-old has been a key player for Pompey as they’ve risen to the top of League One, showing himself to be strong aerially, quick with his feet and as uncompromising as any central defender at that level.
Nathan Jones has seen the player’s attributes first hand whilst in charge of Luton Town and he’s now keen to add him to the Stoke ranks as he tries to sort out their errant defensive record.
The Suffolk-born defender came through the ranks at Ipswich Town, but made just a handful of appearances for the Tractor Boys before moving to Fratton Park after a spell on loan.
He’s thrived with regular football and currently has 115 starts for Pompey, with 103 of those coming in the league. He helped them to League Two promotion in 2016/17 and has gone on to establish himself as the first name on the team sheet for Kenny Jackett’s promotion chasers.
In my opinion, Clarke is the best defender outside the top two divisions.
He’s strong, committed and has all the attributes to play in the Premier League. His age belies his organisational skills and with the youthful pace to his game, he’s a must-buy for Stoke.
I’ve been tipping him up as one for the Championship all season and if Nathan Jones bags his man, he’ll be getting a player on the up and able to impact the squad straight away.