With the 2021/22 Championship campaign set to kick-off next month, West Bromwich Albion will be looking to step up their preparations by making some alterations to their squad.
Having recently admitted that he believes that Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone will leave The Hawthorns this summer, it will be intriguing to see whether Valerien Ismael can draft in sufficient replacements for this particular duo.
Meanwhile, West Brom could potentially have a battle on their hands to keep Kyle Bartley at the club.
A report from The Telegraph last week revealed that Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are both keeping tabs on the defender ahead of potential swoops.
If Bartley does depart, the Baggies will unquestionably need to bolster their options at centre-back as they are already relatively short of options in this position.
One individual who could potentially be on West Brom’s radar is Brighton & Hove Albion defender Matt Clarke.
According to The Sun, The Baggies are set to join the race for the 24-year-old’s signature.
It is understood that the Seagulls may be willing to part ways with Clarke if they receive a sizeable bid this summer.
Loaned out to Derby for each of the previous two campaigns, the defender has managed to deliver a host of impressive displays in the second-tier.
An ever-present in the Rams’ starting eleven last season, Clarke featured in 42 of their 46 league games as he helped the club avoid relegation to the third-tier of English football.
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Considering that he is currently behind the likes of Lewis Dunk, Ben White and Aaron Webster in the pecking order at the AMEX Stadium, the defender may be tempted to secure a permanent move to a Championship side this summer in order to prevent his career from stalling.
If this turns out to be the case, West Brom ought to make a move for him as he clearly possesses the talent needed to thrive at this level.
As well averaging the second-highest WhoScored match rating at Derby last season (7.06), Clarke also ranked in the top-five for aerial duels won per game (5.6), interceptions (1.4 per game) and blocks (0.5) per game.
Although the Baggies will need to fend off competition from the Blades, they could send out a real signal of intent to the rest of the Championship by splashing the cash on a player who could help them achieve a great deal of success next season.
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