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…
As per The Athletic, talks with Clarke’s representatives have taken place, albeit they are said to be at an early stage.
The report states that despite a year left on his contract, with Brighton holding the option for a further year, the Seagulls are open to offers for the 25-year-old.
With the above in mind, here, some of our FLW writers offer their thoughts on whether or not Clarke would be a good addition for the Hornets.
This would be a good signing for Watford and one that certainly ticks a lot of boxes.
The club are looking for a home-grown, left-footed central defender following the seemingly impending departure of Samir, and Clarke fits the bill.
Not only that, but he is an experienced Championship player having spent the last three seasons on loan in the division, first at Derby over two spells, and then last season at West Brom.
Given that Brighton are willing to listen to offers, you feel a reasonable financial deal is there to be done for Watford if they want it, and with other clubs interested, they should perhaps act quickly to get this one wrapped up ahead of their Championship opener in a week’s time.
Quiz: 20 statements about former Watford players – Are they true or false?
This would be a really good bit of business by Watford if they are able to secure the services of Clarke during the current transfer window.
In the previous campaign, the defender managed to make 1.5 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per game in the second-tier as he averaged a WhoScored match rating of 6.97 for West Brom.
When you consider that Watford conceded 77 goals in the top-flight last season, they will need to improve defensively if they are to have any chance of achieving success in the Championship in the new term.
By signing Clarke, the Hornets may be able to resolve this particular issue as he certainly possesses the ability to thrive at this level.
I’m a huge fan of Matt Clarke.
Whether it was in an underwhelming West Brom team last season, his two years on loan at Derby County, or at Portsmouth before that, Clarke has very rarely failed to impress me.
Now 25, he may not be a hugely glamorous signing but he is just so reliable and that could be exactly what Watford need in 2022/23.
Reports have suggested that Samir is set to depart the club, which leaves them lacking in depth as we know Rob Edwards favours a back three.
Clarke is left-footed, which makes him the ideal replacement for the Brazilian, and is a player that has proven his quality in the Championship in recent years.
It’s a great signing if they can get it done.