‘Exceptional’ former Pompey favourite Matt Clarke has looked the part in the Championship.
That’s the verdict of Keith Andrews, who hailed the centre-back after earning a move to Brighton this summer.
Clarke inevitably departed Fratton Park for the Premier League outfit for a fee of around £4m.
His move arrived after four superb seasons at the Blues and was named The News/ Sports Mail Player of the Season for successive years.
After joining the Seagulls, Clarke was loaned to Derby for the campaign to help his promising progress.
He’s made five appearances for the Rams so far, including a fine debut in their 2-1 win at Huddersfield in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
With the competition the 22-year-old faced at the Amex Stadium – including Pompey academy graduate Adam Webster following his £20m move from Bristol City – Andrews felt a switch to Derby was the correct move for Clarke.
And the Sky Sports pundit feels the ex-Ipswich man has started in fine fettle at Pride Park.
Andrews told Brighton's website: ‘When you look at his development at this stage in his career, he’s had to work his way up through the leagues too.
‘He was the exceptional player in League One, he was a great leader and is a player who relishes the defensive side of the game whilst also being comfortable on the ball.
‘With the central defending options that Brighton have in place at the moment, the move made absolute sense.
‘His first game against Huddersfield was outstanding, given the fact that he’d only been with the group at Derby County for a couple of days.
‘It’s never easy to settle but he already looks the part and it’s another good stage in his development.’