Graham Potter challenges Matt Clarke to dislodge Shane Duffy or Lewis Dunk at Brighton following Portsmouth departure

Matt Clarke has moved to Brighton from Pompey. Picture: Joe PeplerMatt Clarke has moved to Brighton from Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke has moved to Brighton from Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke has been challenged to break into Brighton’s Premier League starting XI.

The centre-back completed his highly-expected switch to the Seagulls from Pompey on Friday.

He moved on an undisclosed fee and penned a four-year deal at Graham Potter’s side. 

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Failure to be promoted from League One meant it was inevitable Clarke would depart Fratton Park this summer.

A host of clubs were jostling for the former Ipswich man’s signature – including Championship side Stoke City.

But the 22-year-old, who made 175 appearances for Pompey following his arrival in 2015, opted for the Amex Stadium.

Clarke now faces the difficult challenge of breaking into Potter’s line-up. 

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Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk are Brighton’s regular centre-back partnership.

The duo were key when the Seagulls secured promotion into the Premier League in 2016 and have helped them retain their top-flight status for the past two campaigns. 

Dan Burn and Leon Balagun are the club’s other options in central defence.

Potter is a huge admirer of Clarke and is delighted to have prised him to West Sussex.

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Now the new boss has throw down the gauntlet for the cultured left-footer to dislodge either Duffy or Dunk. 

Potter told his club’s website: ‘We are pleased to welcome Matt to the club.

‘He’s an imposing central defender and had a very impressive spell with Portsmouth and has been a key player for them.

‘At 22, Matt has already played a good number of games in the EFL and we are really looking forward to working with him.

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‘His challenge now is to compete with our existing centre-halves — an area where we have a lot of competition — and break into our first team.’

Ipswich will get 20 per cent from the fee Pompey receive for Clarke.