Why Danny Rose believes Portsmouth’s Matt Clarke would deserve switch to Premier League Brighton

Danny Rose believes a move to the Premier League would be thoroughly deserved for Matt Clarke.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 2:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 3:23 pm
Matt Clarke celebrates with the Checkatrade Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s prized asset is set to depart this summer after Kenny Jackett’s men narrowly missed out on League One promotion.

Brighton & Hove Albion are currently leading the race, with new boss Graham Potter keen to fast track Clarke to the top flight.

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Matt Clarke celebrates with the Checkatrade Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler

 Stoke City are also interested, though, with the likes of Leeds and Hull City other Championship clubs reportedly chasing the centre-back. 

Rose spent two-and-a-half seasons at Fratton Park with Clarke, with the pair helping the Blues capture the League Two title in 2016.

The current Swindon midfielder heaped praise on the ex-Ipswich man's work ethic, which has enabled him to make 172 Football League appearances by the age of 22.

And Rose isn't surprised a switch to the Premier League is in the offing for Clarke. 

Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

The former fans’ favourite said: ‘It’s not a surprise to me and a lot of people that he’ll deservedly get a move to wherever it might be.

‘If it’s Brighton in the Premier League then I think that’s where a lot of people thought he was destined to go eventually.

‘What he’s managed to do is stay fit and play an impressive amount of games over the four years he's been at the club.

‘He’s 22 now and has played more than 150 games. Not many players at that age have got that experience.

‘A lot of players will say he’s got the right mindset because he’s in early every morning, either practising or in the gym.

‘He’s reaped the rewards of that because you can see in his performances he’s always fit and strong and keeps going to the end – his qualities come through.

‘After going up from League Two to League One, he was the one player who took to it most comfortably. It didn’t seem a struggle for him and he took it in his stride.

‘In the past two seasons at League One level, he’s gone from strength to strength and played more than 100 games.

‘It’s remarkable to not only stay fit but stay in the team because he’s had quite a bit of competition with Burge (Christian Burgess) and Whaty (Jack Whatmough) to compete with.

‘Even if those two were fit for the duration of those two seasons they wouldn’t have dislodged Clarkie because his form was so good.’

A move to Brighton would see Clarke jump up two divisions and rub shoulders with the world’s best strikers. 

And Rose is intrigued to see how the cultured defender might handle that challenge. 

He added: ‘It would definitely be a great test for him.

'Physically, it’ll be interesting to see how he copes against faster and stronger players.

‘In terms of his composure on the ball and technical ability, that won’t be a problem at all – he’ll handle that and the bigger occasions.

‘But it’s when he comes up against the Alexandre Lacazette’s and people like that then it’ll be a lot different and interesting to see how he copes.’