The Republic of Ireland international has found himself struggling for consistent game time at St James’ Park, with the likes of Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar, and Jamaal Lascelles all excelling in the heart of defence.
The £35,000-a-week enforcer [Spotrac] shared that Bruce ensured him that he wanted to keep as many of his players at the club as possible in the summer.
“I’ve wanted to just play more regularly,” he told the Shields Gazette.
“I had a chat with the manager towards the end of the window. He said he wanted to keep as many people here as possible to assess what he had.”
Clark definitely had the right to assess his options in the summer, as he believed he deserved to be earning more playing time – something he could have earned elsewhere. Crystal Palace were reported by the Sun to be have taken an interest in the 6’2″ colossus [Transfermarkt] and could have offered him much more regular football at Selhurst Park. The 30-year-old only made 11 Premier League appearances last season under Rafael Benitez, and Bruce must keep faith in the defender after his impressive showing against Man United last time out. Clark made a couple of tackles, interceptions, and clearances in the win on Sunday according to WhoScored, and took the chance presented to him with both hands as he looks to secure more playing time this season. With a number of clubs having been interested in his services in the summer, Bruce must have made some assurances to his defender, and now he must give him the first-team football he craves.