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“Suited to a back three” – Sheffield United closing on Newcastle United transfer agreement: The verdict

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Sheffield United are closing in on yet another defensive signing, it has emerged. 

That’s according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie, who claimed yesterday morning that the 32-year-old was set for a Blades medical within the next 24 hours.

Clark made 13 Premier League appearances last campaign and has previously played in the Championship for the Magpies.

With the above in mind, we asked three of our writers here at FLW for their thoughts on whether or not Clark was a good addition to Heckingbottom’s backline.

Alfie Burns

There was a little bit of an issue at centre-back last season for Sheffield United, particularly when it came to covering Chris Basham at right centre-back.

Given Heckingbottom is likely going to continue with a variant of 3-5-2, it makes sense to stack out his squad with centre-backs.

That means the addition of Clark will be a particular boost, after Sheffield United added cover to the right with Anel Ahmedhodzic.

Clark has plenty of ability and we’ve seen him really impress in the Championship previously, so we know he’s got the quality to deliver at the sharp end of the division and push Jack Robinson for that left centre-back role.

He will also be cover for the ultra-important John Egan in the middle, whilst just adding general depth to the back-three. Whether he’s a starter or not, remains to be seen.

On the face of things, though, there’s little wrong with this deal.

Quiz: 20 statements about former Sheffield United players – Are they true or false?

1 of 20

Dean Henderson is 22 years of age

Carla Devine

Ciaran Clark would be a good addition for Sheffield United ahead of next season. He’s a defender with plenty of experience under his belt including a full Championship season when he was part of a side that achieved promotion to the top flight.

It’s a move that makes sense too. Whilst we know Clark can play in the Premier League, it’s also clear that he’s not particularly in favour of a solid starting line-up place in the top flight with his most appearances in the league 29.

With Newcastle improving their squad too, his game time was only going to dry up further and with the defender now 32-years-old, if he wants game time, he’ll have to move away from the Toon to secure it.

Newcastle fans would probably see his best season as being the one in the Championship given he was a regular part of the side and also able to contribute three goals alongside that.

Therefore, by taking the step down, you could assume that he will be able to make more of an impact albeit with maybe more of a substitute role than his previous season in the league.

Declan Harte

Clark would be a solid signing to strengthen the Blades’ defence going into the new season.

The Irishman has plenty of top flight experience, which could be a big boost both in the dressing room and on the pitch.

Clark is a classic, old-school defender who is great in the air, won’t take risks on the ball and is more than willing to get stuck in when required.

However, he does have mistakes in him so is much more suited to a back three system which United employ.

That makes a move to Paul Heckingbottom’s side an ideal next step in his career, as the team’s style of play should bring out Clark’s strengths and hide his weaknesses.


Freelance writer currently covering all things EFL for Football League World

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: “Suited to a back three” – Sheffield United closing on Newcastle United transfer agreement: The verdict

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