Matt Clarke: Brighton sign defender from Portsmouth for undisclosed fee

Clarke has joined Brighton on a four-year deal
Matt Clarke has joined Brighton on a four-year deal

Brighton have made Portsmouth's Matt Clarke their first signing since head coach Graham Potter took charge.

Central defender Clarke, 22, has joined for an undisclosed fee and signed a four-year-deal with the club.

"He's an imposing central defender and had a very impressive spell with Portsmouth, and has been a key player for them," said Potter.

"His challenge now is to compete with our existing centre-halves - an area where we have a lot of competition."

Brighton have lost right-back Bruno to retirement after the 2018-19 season, where they finished 17th in the Premier League.

Clarke said: "I'm over the moon to be here, these things always take a little bit of time, but I'm delighted that it's now been done.

"Everything here is set up for the club to keep progressing and that's one of the main things which attracted me here.

"The training ground and stadium are set up to achieve good things and the Premier League is where every footballer wants to be."

Clarke, who has been the supporters' player of the year for the past two seasons at Pompey, began his career with Ipswich Town before joining Portsmouth on loan, eventually making his move to Fratton Park permanent.

He made 175 appearances for Pompey and his former club said:external-link "We are pleased he has been given a deserved opportunity to test himself at the highest level and wish him well for the next stage of his career."