Stuart Pearce has suggested that he wanted Nottingham Forest to target Derby County loanee Matt Clarke earlier in the summer.

Stuart Pearce has told talkSPORT that he called Nottingham Forest to suggest they target Matt Clarke when he heard that he was available from Portsmouth earlier this summer.

Clarke enjoyed a very busy window after helping Kenny Jackett’s men reach the League One play-off semi-finals. The Sun reported that Brighton had agreed a £5 million deal to sign the 22-year-old permanently, and he joined Derby County on a season-long loan just over a month later.

He has already started four league games for Phillip Cocu’s men, and held onto his place for the Carabao Cup tie with Forest at the City Ground on Tuesday night.

And former Forest defender and manager Pearce explained that he was one player that he was extremely impressed with and recommended to his old side when he heard that he may be on the move during the most recent window.

“In the summer when I knew Matt Clarke was leaving Pompey, I called Forest,” he told talkSPORT.

“He’s been outstanding, I told them I’ve worked with him and he’s a top player.”

While Forest are a number of places higher in the table, there is little to pick between the two sides’ defensive records, with Sabri Lamouchi’s men conceding one less goal than the Rams so far in the Championship.

They do have a lot of depth at the back, so not going after Clarke may not feel like a major mistake at this stage. Of course, Clarke looks destined to make a career for himself at the highest level and Derby appear to have done a good deal to get him in on loan for the campaign. But Forest will probably not be kicking themselves. 

In other news, Report: Villa boss considering late move for West Ham target as Hammers put interest on hold