Sunderland have a number of key players who are vital to their Championship promotion charge, but a key update has emerged over the future of an “unplayable” ace.
The Black Cats have made an encouraging start to their league season, as they look to go one better than last time around, when they were beaten by Luton Town in the playoffs. On Saturday afternoon, Tony Mowbray’s side drew 0-0 away to Swansea City, and while a point is a solid enough result, they did face 10 men for much of the proceedings, meaning failure to win was a little frustrating.
Sunderland certainly look well-placed to mount another strong promotion tilt this season, but for that to happen, they will need their most important players to keep performing and stay fit, with the matches continuing to come thick and fast in the New Year. Injuries can often been key in any season, so Mowbray will be hoping for good fortune in that department as the weeks and months pass.
There are key players everywhere you look at the Stadium of Light currently, whether it be Anthony Patterson in goal, or Jobe Bellingham and Jack Clarke outfield, among numerous others, but a worrying update has dropped over the future of one indispensable figure.
Jack Clarke’s Sunderland future
According to reliable journalist Alan Nixon on Patreon, Sunderland are finding it hard to tie Clarke down to a new deal, throwing his future into doubt. He has been offered a pay rise, in order to keep him for as long as possible, but no progress has been made yet. Nixon states that the Black Cats are “struggling” to persuade him to extend his stay at the club, with Brentford one of the sides who are believed to be on “red alert” for his signature, seeing him as an exciting option to bring in.
Clarke has undoubtedly become one of the first names on Mowbray’s team sheet these days, and in general since arriving from Tottenham in 2022, providing so much quality in the final third and performing with such consistency. A class act, Clarke’s statistics so far this season highlight what a strong campaign he is having, with nine goals coming his way in just 15 Championship appearances.
If the 22-year-old was to suddenly leave for a Premier League club midway through the season, it could have a massive impact on Sunderland’s promotion hopes, and even if next summer is when the interest emerges, it would still be a huge setback to see him move on.
The lure of moving to the top flight is clearly great for many players, so it is understandable why Clarke’s head could potentially be turned, and Adrian Clarke has described him as an “unplayable” footballer in the past. Clarke’s Sunderland deal doesn’t expire until the summer of 2026, meaning the Black Cats are in a strong bargaining position to demand big money for one of their star men, but it would still be preferable to see him remain at the club for years to come.