, ‘Certainly not’ – Pundit doesn’t expect Sunderland ace to stay beyond the summer

‘Certainly not’ – Pundit doesn’t expect Sunderland ace to stay beyond the summer

Pundit Adam Virgo has hailed Sunderland winger Jack Clarke and has tipped him to move on this summer.

Sunderland are expected to face a battle to keep hold of their most prized asset at the end of this season.

Clarke, 23, is currently sidelined but scored 15 goals in all competitions for the Championship side before injury struck.

Former Football League defender Virgo has written in the Football League Paper (24.03.24, page 13): “Before getting injured in February, he was at the level of performance where everybody thought he belonged in the Premier League. Goal scoring midfielders are the hardest things to find in football. Lots of teams have good strikers.

Plenty have defenders who can chip in with four or five from set-plays. Very few have midfielders who produce double figures year on year, and that’s what Clarke does.”

He added: “What’s impressed me the most this season is how much he has matured. He takes a lot more responsibility. He makes better decisions. He produces more regularly.

“You just need to look at the way Sunderland’s results have collapsed since he got injured to see how influential the 23-year-old is to that team. Will he be at the Stadium of Light next year? Almost certainly not, and that’s about the biggest compliment you can pay him.”

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, ‘Certainly not’ – Pundit doesn’t expect Sunderland ace to stay beyond the summer

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Despite being under contract until June 2026, it would be a surprise if Clarke was still playing in the North East in the next campaign.

He has proved himself in the second tier over recent times and needs to test himself at a higher level.

The Mirror claim Lazio are ‘leading’ the race for his signature after seeing two bids rejected in January. They are also said to be admirers of Jobe Bellingham.

, ‘Certainly not’ – Pundit doesn’t expect Sunderland ace to stay beyond the summer
Image courtesy of: LEE SMITH/REUTERS.

Clarke rose up through the academy ranks at Leeds United and broke into their first-team as a youngster under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa.

He was then lured away from Yorkshire by Tottenham Hotspur in 2020 but his time in the Premier League didn’t work out for him.

The York-born man was loaned back to Elland Road and also had temporary stints at QPR and Stoke City.

Clarke then dropped into League One when Sunderland came calling and his move was made permanent following the Black Cats’ promotion under Alex Neil.

He hasn’t looked back since and has become the main man. However, with his future up in the air, it appears increasingly likely that he will move on soon.

Sunderland are back in action following the international break with an away trip to Cardiff City on Friday.

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