Sunderland confirmed the signing of another young potential star after : Black Cats hit the jackpot with £17k-p/w ‘diamond’

Sunderland confirmed the signing of another young potential star after : Black Cats hit the jackpot with £17k-p/w ‘diamond’

Sunderland’s strategy of signing young players is paying off.

Sunderland’s remarkable revival has been spearheaded by the managerial expertise of Tony Mowbray, successfully inflicting his possession-based football onto his young side.

The Black Cats capped their return to the Championship last term with a sensational charge into the play-offs and although it ended in heartache against Luton Town in the semis, the embryonic stages of this campaign have supporters dreaming of a promotion back to the Premier League.


Currently sitting in fifth place, the prospects ahead for Sunderland are chalk and cheese compared to their struggles in the doldrums of League One but having escaped the clutches of the third-tier, the positivity surrounding the Stadium of Light is contagious.

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With a youthful squad that plays attractive football, there is a lot to admire about the way in which Sunderland have gone about their business in recent times, including their strategy to recruit young players with boundless potential.


One youngster who has accentuated that strategy is the signing of Jobe Bellingham from Birmingham City for £3m as the talented teen became their most eye-catching addition this summer.


Another key example is that of Jack Clarke, who joined on a permanent deal from Tottenham last year, and has since seen his stock and value rise dramatically.


How much did Sunderland buy Jack Clarke for?

Having earned promotion back to the Championship in 2022, Sunderland knew they needed to add quality to their front line and for the most part, utilised the loan market to bring in striker Joe Gelhardt from Leeds United and winger Amad Diallo on loan from Manchester United.

While Diallo enjoyed a successful loan in the North East, scoring 14 goals, their acquisition of Jack Clarke – for a fee believed to be in the region of £4.4m (€5.2m) – was their most impressive piece of business that summer.

The Englishman arrived at the club when his stock was at its lowest, becoming the victim of the £10m fee that Spurs forked out for him in 2019, suffering through three challenging loan spells at Leeds United, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City before finding a home at the Stadium of Light.


After breaking onto the scene as a 17-year-old at Leeds, Clarke quickly became renowned for his electric pace and precise dribbling, utilising those attributes to full effect by becoming one of the hottest prospects that the Championship has seen.


Now a maturing and more complete version of himself at 22-years-old, Clarke is showcasing the potential at Sunderland that his formative years promised.


How much is Jack Clarke worth now?

Sunderland took a gamble on a player they knew had serious potential, and it is paying off.


The 5 foot 9 whizz – who was described as a “diamond” by Mowbray – has proven the critics wrong by becoming one of the most explosive assets in the second tier, demonstrating that X Factor through his performances.

A player capable of getting bums off seats through his ferocious wing play, Clarke has added consistency in the final third to go with his excellent approach play, returning an impressive 21 goal contributions in 45 Championship appearances last season.

An ever-present in the starting XI, the youngster has continued where he left off this time round by taking on the mantle of scoring goals, currently joint-top of the scoring charts with five.


Clarke, is quite simply, in the form of his life and after scoring a brace against Blackburn Rovers, Mowbray lauded his performance as “amazing”, a comment that reflects the attacking metrics he’s produced so far this season.


The former Leeds academy graduate clearly excels in situations that see his ball-carrying abilities come to life, placing within the top 2% in the Championship this season against his positional peers for progressive carries, fouls drawn and successful take-ons while ranking in the top 7% for carries into the final third per 90, as per FBref.

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