Clarke joins Baggies

Defender has spent last two seasons on loan with Derby County.

By Paul Camillin • 13 July 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Matt Clarke will spend the 2021/22 season with Championship outfit West Brom.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Matt Clarke is joining West Bromwich Albion on a season loan. 

The 24-year-old centre-half joined Albion in 2019 has spent the last two seasons on loan with Derby County, and heads to the Hawthorns on a similar arrangement.

Albion’s pathway development manager David Weir commented, “Matt has done very well in his time with Derby, and shown he is very adept at Championship level and there was no shortage of clubs interested in taking him on loan. 

“Having just come down from the Premier League, West Bromwich Albion will be pushing for an instant return to the top level, and Matt will no doubt go there with that aim. We will be monitoring his progress, and wish him well for the new season ahead.”

Clarke began his career with Ipswich Town as a schoolboy before signing a scholarship in 2013. He made his senior debut for the club in August 2014, before signing a professional two-year deal a month later.

He initially joined Portsmouth on a six-month loan deal in the summer of 2015, eventually making his move to Fratton Park permanent, where he became an integral part of the side.

In his first season with Pompey he helped the team reach the play-off semi-finals, and the following season was part of the team which clinched promotion to League One.

Clarke remained a mainstay in the team following that promotion, becoming Portsmouth captain, and has made 88 appearances across the last two years in League One.

He was a key member of the Portsmouth team which won the EFL Trophy at Wembley and reached the League One play-off semi-finals last season.

Shortly after joining the Albion he was sent out on loan to Championship side Derby County, going onto win the Rams Player of the Season as Phillip Cocu's side fell just short of the play-off places.

He was back at Pride Park last season, this time playing an important role in keeping the Rams in the Championship.