By Sam Stone

10th May, 2022 | 10:27pm

West Brom defender Matt Clarke should be firmly in Brighton's plans for next season

West Brom’s on-loan Brighton defender Matt Clarke should be firmly in Graham Potter’s Brighton plans after collecting his fourth player of the season award in five years.

Clarke has yet to make his Brighton debut but has collected personal accolades at Portsmouth, Derby County and West Brom.

Clarke was Pompey’s player of the season in 2017-18 and again in 2018-19 before joining Brighton for a reported £3.5 million, as per transfermarkt.

With two more successful loan spells at Derby and West Brom, and another year left on his Brighton contract, Clarke simply has to be in contention at the Amex next season.

Clarke followed current Brighton defender Adam Webster from Portsmouth to Brighton and was hoping to emulate Webster’s success in Sussex.

Clarke’s ball playing ability, technical strength and strong left foot mean he could be a good fit for Graham Potter’s three at the back system, alongside Webster.

Brighton have Jan Paul van Hecke on loan at Championship Blackburn Rovers who could also provide competition in defensive areas.

However, the departure of Dan Burn to Newcastle has provided an opportunity for one of Brighton’s second string defenders to make an impact.

Clarke is most similar to Burn in terms of size and being left-footed, however, his technical ability is far better than the former Brighton defender.

Whilst at Portsmouth, Clarke was lorded as being a better player than Brighton’s now record signing Adam Webster.

The former Ipswich man has all the attributes to be an excellent modern day centre-half for Graham Potter’s side.

It would be a shame for Clarke to never play for the Potter’s side after a big money move from League One.

If he is deemed surplus to requirements on the south coast there will be a host of Championship Clubs vying for his signature.

In other West Brom news, one of our best young talents sent one final message to Bruce as the Under-18s won 4-0 against Reading.

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