Brighton in a transfer battle for defensive ace: What will he offer the Seagulls?

Portsmouth defender Matt Clarke is a player in demand as several clubs, including Premier League side Brighton, are keen on signing him in the summer transfer window.

There has been some interest from Championship side Stoke City too, as the Portsmouth management have accepted that Clarke will leave the club, but they want to get as much money as possible for the defender.

“If there’s a demand for any player and more than one entity wanting that. It assists in driving the price up. It’s like a painting. What’s the value of a player? It’s not anything that’s comparable.

“It’s like a painting. What’s the value of a player? It’s not anything that’s comparable. With a painting what you ideally want is multiple bidders.

“Then it can become a self-perpetuating upward spiral at that point. That’s what you are looking for,” said Mark Catlin, the chief executive of Portsmouth, about Clarke.

Brighton managed to retain their Premier League status late in the recently concluded campaign, and are ahead of Stoke City in the chase for Clarke as per Stoke Sentinel.

Matt Clarke – Fact file

The young centre-back was signed from Ipswich Town in 2016, and has gone on to become a key player for Pompey, making 175 appearances for the club and becoming Portsmouth Player’s Player of the Season for the 2017-18 season.

The 22-year-old is a key player for the League 1 side, who finished fourth in the 2018-19 League 1 table.

What will Clarke offer Brighton?

Clarke is a centre-back who likes the ball at his feet and often takes it up the field, aiding the midfield and attack. The defender puts his body on the line and is fearless while defending, while also never giving up to retrieve the ball or putting in a last-ditch tackle.

The Portsmouth defender is strong and is difficult to outmuscle, while possessing a good range of passing – short and long. A natural leader at the back, Clarke has captained the side on many occasions, even at the young age of 21.

Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy played the majority of games at centre-back for Brighton in defence in the 2018-19 season, while Leon Balogun was the backup central defender.

For next season, Brighton will have to add a few more players to strengthen their squad and Matt Clarke could be one of them as he will be available for much lesser than other targets and is also a young player who can blossom into a good top-flight player.

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