Curtis Davies greeted former Derby County teammate Matt Clarke, who signed for West Bromwich Albion this week, in an interview with The Athletic.

Having failed to get first-team minutes in the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion, Clarke has been loaned out to Derby twice in the past two years and joined Davies to help keep the Rams afloat in the second division.

But with the East Midlands side currently under a tight transfer embargo and lacking the funds to get him to Pride Park for a permanent deal, West Brom has struck off the interest of the championship’s other rivals, Sheffield United, who To sign central defenders for one season. long loan.

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After signing Alex Mowatt and teenage Quevin Castro, Baggies boss Valerien made Ismael Clarke his third sign of the summer to return his side to the Premier League, a league the 24-year-old has never had a chance , to play .

This will leave the center-back hungry for success as he seeks to bring the West Midlands back into the top flight – and fellow defender Davies has been helping him to succeed at The Hawthorns.

Speaking to The Athletic about his former defensive partner at Pride Park, Davies said, “He’s one of the most natural defenders I’ve ever played with when it comes to getting his body on the line, positional play, header wins and strength.

“He’s still young but he’s played almost 250 games – he’ll do well at West Brom.”

The move was originally considered permanent, with a cost of £ 5 million. However, the Seagulls have decided to keep Clarke as he is on his third loan period since arriving on the south coast in 2019.

The judgment:

With West Brom fans already familiar with the quality, leadership and experience that 30-year-old Kyle Bartley brings to the Baggies’ backline, this shining reference from someone who has played alongside Clarke will be comforting to fans who Haven’t seen the Brighton defender in action yet.

He has both age and experience on his side, having spent some time at the Derby – and will have faced great adversity last season to beat the drop and make up for a miss.

The Rams had the worst offensive record in the league at the end of the 2020/21 season and showed how well the 24-year-old managed to keep them afloat in the second division.

However, when it comes to West Brom, Dara O’Shea and Semi Ajayi are also good options for Ismael to have alongside the Brighton loaner so their defenses develop well ahead of the new season and are further reinforced with the defensive midfield could target Trevoh Chalobah and Tommy Doyle, though hopes of signing the former are fading.