Reports surfaced yesterday linking both sides of the Old Firm to Aberdeen loanee Leighton Clarkson. The English midfielder has impressed this season and may be looking to secure a permanent move away from Anfield to secure first team football. So, who is he?
Name – Leighton Clarkson
Age – 21
Nationality – English
Position – CM
Club – Aberdeen (On loan from Liverpool)
The young midfielder first impressed by scoring some terrific goals from outside the area, including a thirty yard free-kick against St. Johnstone. His delivery from dead balls is superb and he has shown a great range of passing this season. He’s not only shown a creative side but also a willingness to get stuck in and do the dirty work, a player Aberdeen would love to keep but he looks destined for bigger things.
Let’s look at his stats for this season in the SPFL;
- 29 Appearances (27 Starts)
- 1.5 Key Passes Per Game
- 70% Pass Accuracy (86% Own Half, 55% Opposition Half)
- 2 Tackles Per Game
- 54% Total Duels Won
- 60% Ground Duels Won (2 Per Game)
The passing percentage in the opposition half is a worry but it’s encouraging that he attempts more passes in the opposition half (14) than in his own half (9.3) per game. Passing is something which can be looked at in isolation as many factors can impact this;
- Lack of movement from forwards
- Poor decision making from the player
- Lack of options going forward.
This is something which can be improved by playing with better players, as long as the decision making isn’t the main issue, which is hasn’t been for Clarkson.
His tackling numbers are encouraging for a player more lauded for their creative ability, being able to win the ball back then progress it forward is a key skill. It’s something Rangers have added recently with Cantwell and Raskin and should be the type of midfielder they look at going forward.
It’s unclear if Liverpool would be looking to do a loan to buy deal with Clarkson or if they would consider a straight permanent transfer. Anything around the £2-3m mark would seem like a good deal for a player of his age and profile but it remains unclear whether Rangers would be looking to spend that much.
How would you feel about Leighton Clarkson coming to Ibrox for next season?