Brighton and Hove Albion make first summer signing

Brighton & Hove Albion have made Portsmouth's Matt Clarke their first summer signing on undisclosed terms.

Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 1:42 pm
Matt Clarke (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Central defender Clarke, 22, becomes Albion’s first new arrival this summer, and has agreed a four-year deal with the club.

Head Coach Graham Potter said, “We are pleased to welcome Matt to the club. He’s an imposing central defender and had a very impressive spell with Portsmouth and as their captain has been a key player for them.

“At 22, Matt has already played a good number of games in the EFL and we are really looking forward to working with him. His challenge now is to compete with our existing centre-halves — an area where we have a lot of competition — and break into our first team.”

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 Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley and reached the League One play-off semi-finals last season.