Some Derby County supporters have taken to Twitter to rave about Matt Clarke’s debut for the club.
The Rams kicked off their Championship campaign with an excellent 2-1 victory at former Premier League side Huddersfield Town.
Tom Lawrence scored two wonderful quick-fire goals in the first-half, before the Terriers halved the deficit from the penalty spot. The Rams showed resilience in the second half to earn all three points.
Lawrence will undoubtedly grab all the plaudits for a wonderful performance and his two classy goals. However, he wasn’t the only Derby player to grab the headlines as Clarke produced a masterful display at the back.
Derby’s official Twitter account posted his incredible stats from the game, and Rams supporters responded in kind.
100% aerial duels won
100% dribble success
44 passes completed
What a debut, @MatthewClarke96!
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) August 5, 2019
— Ashley (@nozdcfc) August 5, 2019
This guy will play for England. He is top draw.
— Davey Jones (@daveyjones_26) August 5, 2019
— Big Phil Cocu 🐏 (@BigCocu) August 5, 2019
— Phillip Cocu’s Daniel 🐑 (@daniel385723) August 5, 2019
@G_HILE very decent. And he can defend his near post unlike Tomori or Keogh!
— Phil Hile (@philhile) August 5, 2019
Unreal from the lad
— Jonny Moxey (@bigtoeerotica) August 5, 2019
Absolutely fantastic performance.
— Mister Soco (@SuplexSettee) August 5, 2019
How Matt Clarke impressed on his Derby County debut:
Clarke only joined the Rams on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion last week. Manager Phillip Cocu told him to just work on his defensive game as he slotted right in alongside Richard Keogh.
But the former Portsmouth fan favourite showed more than that. He was colossus in terms of tackling and winning aerial duels. But in possession, he showed calmness and an ability to pick a pass.
Chelsea star Fikayo Tomori joined the club last season on a season-long loan and went on to win the club’s Player of the Year award. He was immense, and Derby supporters feared he would be tough to replace.
Clarke, however, showed he has what it takes. The 22-year-old doesn’t have Tomori’s pace or athleticism, but he is stronger in the air and just as confident on the ball. He will no doubt be a huge hit with the Rams fans at Pride Park this season.