Sunderland have today bolstered their squad further with the addition of winger Jack Clarke. The 21-year-old returns to the Stadium of Light having impressed during a loan spell last season.
Sunderland Sign Winger Jack Clarke
He’s here and he’s ours for good.
Welcome back, @JackClarke09 ✍️
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 9, 2022
Following an unsuccessful move to Tottenham in 2019, Jack Clarke now has a new permanent home at Sunderland. A successful loan spell during the second half of last season under Alex Neil convinced the Black Cats to make the move a long-term one.
Having burst onto the scene with Leeds United as a youngster, his ability was soon noticed by those outside of the club. Following just 25 games in all competitions for United, a deal worth £10 million was agreed to take him to Tottenham. However, the move never worked out for the England under-21 international as he failed to make a single Premier League appearance. He did however manage several games in cup competitions.
Spurs sent him on loan back to Leeds followed by spells at QPR and Stoke City before he finally found his old form at Sunderland earlier this year. With just one year left on his current contract in North London, it was decided that a permanent move would be best for all parties.
Clarke Delighted to Have Made Permanent Move
Speaking to Sunderland’s official website safc.com, winger Jack Clarke spoke of his delight at completing his permanent move to Wearside. He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be back because I really enjoyed my time here last season.
“It felt right to return and after winning promotion to the Championship last season, I’m excited to play my part in the next step of our journey. We have a good balance in the squad and a great bond in the dressing room, so I believe we can continue to progress as a team and enjoy another successful season.”
Alex Neil Pleased to Have Winger Jack Clarke on Board
Black Cats head coach Alex Neil also spoke to safc.com following the arrival of Clarke. He said: “Jack is a player with huge potential.
“We had him last season and I think he grew stronger and stronger as the season went on, but the most important thing for him is that he’s now our player. He has obviously got quality, but what he needed to do was find a home and we have managed to provide that. Jack enjoys it here and for us, we are pleased to have the deal across the line as it adds another attacking option.”
Loan Successful but Now Time to Fulfil Potential
Until his loan move to Sunderland in January of this year, Clarke had struggled to find the form that made Spurs pay £10 million for him as a teenager. Previous loan spells had not worked out and his Tottenham chances became severely limited due to this. It appeared that the winger may not be able to fulfil his early promise.
However, a loan deal to take him to Sunderland brought out a lot of the ability that was seen early on in his career. Not without his faults still, the youngster adapted to Alex Neil’s way of playing with relative ease. He became a regular in the first team playing 20 games as the Red and Whites made it to the Playoff final at Wembley and achieved promotion thanks to a 2-0 victory.
It was Clarke’s contribution in the play-off semi-final second leg at Sheffield Wednesday that fans will remember him most for during his loan spell. The winger capped an impressive performance by providing the assist for fellow winger Patrick Roberts to score the goal to take the team to Wembley.
Now that the deal to make the move permanent is complete, it is now time for Clarke to fulfil his early potential and repay Sunderland for the faith that they have in him. Should the winger be able to replicate the form from last season and continue to learn under Alex Neil, then the fee that Sunderland have paid could end being the deal of the season.