Will Jones says...
Jack Clarke is the exact fit for the mould of player we are making a name for signing - a young hot prospect who has lost his way and needs to prove himself from a top academy.
To sign someone of Jack's qualityahead of a fair few Championship sides speaks volumes of how our hierarchy acts, and delivers the vision of this club to players who may only be here for a few months.
Jack himself will know that we have an abundance of talent out wide and behind the striker, and will also know that he will have to be flexible with the positions he will have to play in.
I believe the quality we have now means we should at all times have one (maybe even two) quality forward players not starting, ready to impact a game at any point, whether it be seeing a game out and getting a two-goal lead, or to grab the winner.
This should help us immensely in games we have been unable to see out, because if we have the pace of a Clarke or a Roberts to bring on and stretch a team with ten men when in front, we could have really made them pay.
Another great problem we have is that we won’t get caught short with fatigue or with international breaks. This means we can have an incredibly healthy and strong forward line every single game for the rest of the season.
It’s exciting we can harvest these players, and will only benefit us further as we move up the leagues.
Malc Dugdale says...
This signing is an interesting one for me. I don’t know a lot about young Clarke, but what I have read since he was linked is pretty positive.
What I can’t work out is: what the coach’s plans are for all these offensive touchline hugging players, new and old?
Our last signing (Patrick Roberts) was touted to be a promising attacking wide man who can step in onto his left foot and get goals and assists. With Clarke having a similar attacker/winger type description, it really makes you wonder what we may do with people like Gooch and McGeady, given the new additions. Even with the departures of Diamond and Hume, isn’t our shelf of wide attacking men already okay?
Lynden has been used as a utility man of late, but has had some good performances while not played out of his preferred position. Geads is apparently now in light training and may well make a good few appearances before the end of the season, though he is clearly approaching his retirement call. How on earth we fit in all these wide attacking talents when all these players are available, only the coaching staff know.
What I will say is I wasn’t sure about the future plans for the players we signed in the summer, nor did I suss out what we would do with Stewart when we signed him alongside Wyke, but what I have seen since tells me to have faith in the research and intentions the club has in place.
Broadhead, Doyle, Dajaku and Hoffman have all hit the ground at pace and made a difference. Yes, we have had injury issues for Nathan as well as for Cirkin, Evans and Huggins, but there are signs from all of them that they will add to our team in terms of both quality and depth once fully fit.
I’ve been a fan for about 40 years and I’ve not seen many transfer windows as promising as these two across most of those decades. I just can’t wait to see how we use them, as the merger of future tactics and this personnel is something we are also coming to look forward to.
Exciting times to come with more exciting players. Keep doing what you’re doing Speakman and co. - it’s heartwarming to have comfort in you all.
Mark Wood says...
When Patrick Roberts came, I could think of a couple of different areas of the pitch where we needed cover or reinforcements, more so than the wide positions. Especially as we already had Gooch, Djaku, a sometime returning McGeady and Elliot Embleton, who can and does play there. And did I mention Jack Diamond?
But, by all accounts, Roberts does have some quality about him, and can also apparently play up front so I could see the sense in it - after all, why would we turn down a quality player if he is available?
I have the same thinking in regards to a quality player when it comes to Jack Clarke. Apparently, he has the quality and should be able to offer us something at this level. However, I’m not sure why we have the need to bring in another winger.
If he has the quality and improves us then great, but his arrival also raises questions about the future of one or two of the other players mentioned above, and if we will see them in a Sunderland shirt again.