By Pranav Shahaney

16th Jul, 2021 | 2:28pm

Michael Doyle blown away by West Brom signing Matt Clarke

New West Brom recruit Matt Clarke has impressed his former Portsmouth teammate Michael Doyle.

The Baggies completed the signing of the 24-year-old from Brighton earlier this week.

The Englishman has joined on loan for the 2021/22 season and will bolster West Brom’s defensive ranks.

Discussing his qualities and overall impact as a player, Doyle told The Athletic, “He came down and on his first night we played Woking in a pre-season friendly.

“I still remember him jumping up and winning his first header — bang — and that was it, he never looked back. He was outstanding and just went on from there.”

Top defender

Clarke may have joined on loan, but there still is excitement to watch him play next season.

New signings often rejuvenate the team and also with a new manager, we’re hoping that the season is better than our last one in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old, from what we’ve seen and heard of him, seems to be the right fit for us.

Kevin Phillips believes that he will walk into our playing eleven. Speaking exclusively to Goodison News, he said, “I think he will, yes [be a regular starter]. That’s what he’s been brought through the door to do.

“I don’t think he’s been signed to sit on the bench so I think he’ll start if I’m being honest.”

Clarke is a left-sided centre-back so can fit in perfectly with Kyle Bartley or Semi Ajayi. He’s good at carrying the ball out of defence and his timing of the tackle is pretty impressive.

While a number of centre-backs today tend to be good ball carriers and fail to do the basics like tackling, clearing and blocking, Clarke is unlike them and primarily focuses on the defensive side of things.

He has the tendency to overcomplicate things, but that could also be due to the frameworks he’s been operating under.

Hopefully, Valerien Ismael has a plan in place for him and we can see the defender at his best next season.

In other West Brom news, Arsenal make approach to sign ‘Terrific’ West Brom ace – David Ornstein

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Baggies and more exclusive interviews with Kevin Phillips.