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Winger has most successful dribbles in the EFL

Playmaker's EFL 72: #20 Jack Clarke

2024/05/02 15:51
E2

We're closing in on the apex of our 'Playmaker 72' - and we've already reached our 'Top 20'!

It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in the EFL and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

Our next entrant has dazzled in the Championship for a second season despite his club enduring a turbulent campaign. Seemingly destined for the Premier League next season, Jack Clarke again makes the cut. 


Number 20: Jack Clarke (Sunderland)

The more of these Playmaker 72 profiles you write, the more obvious the correlation between a player's success and that of his club becomes. 

As you would expect, the vast majority of those ranking in our 'Top 20' have starred for teams at the top of their respective divisions and player's individual achievements are very often reflected in the collective success of their clubs. 

But, honest question, should we admire the 15-goal winger for a struggling club more than the 20-goal striker at a promoted one? 

It's hard to say, but Jack Clarke's improvement from Number 33 last season to Number 20 in our current Playmaker 72 has been inversely proportionate to Sunderland's form. 

The Black Cats are on their third manager of the campaign and limping to a mid-table finish under interim head coach Mike Dodds, the excitement and optimism that greeted making the Championship play-offs last season now a distant memory. 

However, Clarke has consolidated his credentials as one of the most exciting young talents in the second tier and, despite his form tailing off along with Sunderland's this season, his statistics for the 2023/24 campaign remain impressive. 

With 15 goals and four assists in the Championship, Clarke is one of the most productive players in the second tier, but he offers far more than end product as a host of other statistics will attest. 

Ranked first across the entire EFL for successful dribbles this season, with 145, Clarke is an absolute handful galloping down the left flank - the 92 free-kicks he has drawn this season (the second most in the Championship) illustrating that opponents often have to resort to foul measures to stop him. 

Perhaps a lesser-known stat from this season is that Clarke also leads the division in penalties won (4) - the former Tottenham starlet with a gift for luring in mistimed challenges inside the box. 

On the subject of spot-kicks, Clarke has a 100% record from 12 yards this season, no player netting more Championship penalties than the 23-year-old (5) in 2023/24. 

Clarke's ability to both score and create goals mark him out as a special talent and his 87 key passes this season rank an impressive 6th in the second tier. 

With the winger tipped to leave for big money in the summer, the question for Sunderland fans as an underwhelming season comes to a close is: 'How do you replace Clarke if he leaves in the summer?'

Current head coach Dodds gave a rather worrying answer to that question back in February when Clarke was sidelined by injury...

“We’re not just talking about a one-off player. We’re talking about one of the best players in the league, if not the best winger in the league. 

"Let’s be honest, you’re not replacing Jack Clarke.”


Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

21: Isaac Olaofe

22: Carl Piergiani 23: Jaden Philogene 24: Alfie May

25: Will Evans 26: Jamie Reid 27: Morgan Whittaker

28: Conor Chaplin 29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer



England
Jack Clarke
NameJack Raymond Clarke
Born/Age2000-11-23(23 -yrs-old)
Nationality
England
England
PositionForward (Right Wing) / Forward (Left Wing)

Photos(5)

Comments

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2024-05-02 16h12m by nlawson12
As a fan, I can definitely say that I am grateful to have players like Jack Clarke on my team. Despite all the challenges and ups and downs, he has consistently performed and helped lead Sunderland to the top of the Championship. He truly deserves his spot on this list and I can&
2024-05-02 16h04m by ocollinsworth
In Jack Clarke&
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