Keith Andrews praises Derby County on-loan defender Matt Clarke

Matthew Clarke (16) of Derby County during the Carabao Cup 2nd round match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County at the City Ground, Nottingham on Tuesday 27th August 2019.

The Rams brought the Brighton defender on loan to Pride Park for the whole season.

Matthew Clarke (16) of Derby County during the Carabao Cup 2nd round match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County at the City Ground, Nottingham on Tuesday 27th August 2019.

Sky Sports pundit and one-time Brighton & Hove Albion ace Keith Andrews has claimed that Derby County loanee Matt Clarke "already looks the part" at the Championship club and tipped him to continue brightly in his development (official Seagulls website).

The 22-year-old defender linked up with the Rams in the summer on a season-long loan deal from the Seagulls (official Derby website), not long after having joined the Premier League side permanently from fellow south coast outfit Portsmouth - a club where he was lauded by the fanbase.

Although Clarke began brightly at Pride Park, playing Derby's first four Championship games in a row, Phillip Cocu omitted him from the starting XI for their last two fixtures, the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion and the 3-0 hammering by Brentford (Transfermarkt).

 

Nonetheless, Andrews is pleased with what he's seen so far from Clarke, telling the official Brighton 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.”

Keith Andrews  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road on April 27, 2019 in Norwich, England.

Clarke had joined the Seagulls in June, their first signing since head coach Graham Potter took charge, having featured 175 times over four seasons at Portsmouth.

Last season, he played in all but one EFL Trophy fixture for Portsmouth, totalling 60 games, and as well as being Man of the Match in the final of that competition, he started every League One game as well as both play off semi-final clashes against Sunderland (official Derby website).

Matthew Clarke of Portsmouth gestures during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Bury and Portsmouth at Gigg Lane on February 26, 2019 in Bury, England.

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