In an article on footballleagueworld.co.uk it’s claimed that Rangers have shown an interest in Sunderland winger Jack Clarke. Sunderland missed out in the play-offs recently and it is claimed they’ll be looking to sell some of their star players. He only joined Sunderland permanently last summer after a successful loan move. Previously the subject of a £10m move to Spurs from Leeds, Sunderland may be keen to make some profit on him. At 22-years-old he may feel he’s ready for another chance at the top level. The article also mentioned interest from Brentford, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Everton and Wolves.
Clarke now has great experience playing in the English Championship and EPL. He was one of the standout players of Sunderland’s promotion chasing campaign. His performances and numbers made it clear to see why he’s been valued so highly. In one of the most competitive divisions around he managed twenty goal contributions in forty-five appearances. He plays off of the left and loves to cut in on his right, similar to Ryan Kent. He is a really technically gifted dribbler, often able to beat two or three opponents before releasing the ball. He’s also tall for a winger, listed at around 6’0 or just under, which makes him more difficult to get off of the ball.
As previously mentioned, Clarke has had a tremendous year at The Stadium of Light. He looks to be turning into the player many expected when he made his big move to Spurs. Here are the numbers in question;
- 45 Appearances (44 Starts)
- 14% Goal Conversion Rate
- 1.7 Key Passes Per Game
- 1.6 Tackles Per Game
- 56% Successful Dribbles (2 Per Game)
What a season for the English youngster. A goal contribution almost every second game is incredible production from the wing. I made a comparison with Ryan Kent earlier and the big difference is, Clarke can finish. Most of his goals he attempts to bend the ball into the opposite top corner. As the numbers show, he succeeds a decent amount of the time. If we keep the Kent comparison going, he had a 5% Goal Conversion Rate for Rangers this term, a stark contrast. Even on the dribbling numbers Kent only put up 46% success on 1.9 per game.
It this was purely a comparison piece then Clarke blows Kent out of the water. That is why he’s so highly sought after and he’s still young enough to improve even further.
He’s a modern day inside-forward. He starts out on the left and spends the majority of the game driving inside the pitch. That is where he is the most effective. He thrives when he’s pressed as he has the ability to quickly get the ball out of his feet and dribble past defenders. As much as he thrives driving inside, he’s also comfortable going to the by-line. He prefers his right foot but is also very capable of providing with his left.
Despite his love of dribbling and beating defenders he shouldn’t be considering a ‘selfish’ player. He’s just as happy creating goals as he is scoring them. Something which really improved for him this season was knowing when to release the ball. This has previously been a criticism of his game and now he’s fine-tuned that.
When it comes to finishing, as previously mentioned, he prefers finesse. He always tries to curl the ball into the corners and when he’s one-on-one it looks like he’s taken inspiration from Thierry Henry with those low, curled finishes. Eight of his nine Championship goals have come from inside the box but he isn’t afraid to take a shot from distance. He does, though, prefer to get the ball closer to goal by driving at the defence before releasing a shot.
He’s an incredibly talented young player and is definitely capable of consistently playing in the EPL one day. Although, personally, I’d love to see Jack Clarke at Rangers.
Other Interested Teams
On May 30th Fabrizio Romano tweeted this;
Since then, Rangers, Everton and Wolves has also apparently joined the race. This could be a costly deal as his Sunderland transfer was rumoured to have the potential to reach £10m. This is one, I fear, that Rangers may be blown out the water on financially. The advantage Rangers have though is the appeal of European football and the chance to work under one of the most talented young managers in the game.
No matter where Jack Clarke ends up, if it’s one of the teams mentioned above, he won’t experience anything like Ibrox on a European night or on Old Firm day.
How do you feel about this link? Is Jack Clarke to Rangers a goer for you?