Chelsea Academy Product Linked With £7 Million Championship Move

Former Chelsea defender and academy product Jake Clarke-Salter is being linked with a big-money switch to Stoke City this summer after a solid campaign with Queens Park Rangers, according to reports.

Clarke-Salter emerged from the youth system at Cobham under then-interim head coach Guus Hiddink, making his debut in a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. After the game, club captain John Terry even stated that “he reminds me a bit of myself.”

Unfortunately, the central defender went on to make merely two more appearances for the club in all competitions and was sent out on six loan spells to five different clubs, including two stints at Birmingham City and one at Sunderland and Coventry City.

In 2022, the ex-England U21 international left Chelsea on a permanent basis after 15 years with the club but was picked up by West London outfit Queens Park Rangers, penning a four-year deal with the Championship side.

QPR endured a difficult campaign this term and were sitting six points below safety at the end of October before Marti Cifuentes replaced Gareth Ainsworth in the Loftus Road dugout. Nevertheless, a 2-1 win away at Coventry last Saturday meant that Rangers finished the season six points above the drop zone. Clarke-Salter was a major factor in the club’s complete turnaround in fortune.

The 26-year-old made 33 appearances in all competitions for QPR across the 2023/24 campaign, bagging one goal and recording an assist for his troubles. These impressive displays have garnered interest from rival clubs in the Championship and even teams in the top-flight.

According to John Percy of The Telegraph, Stoke City are looking at Clarke-Salter as a potential option to strengthen their backline this summer but face competition from Premier League clubs for the defender. Furthermore, Percy has claimed that QPR are looking for a fee of between £5-7 million for the player as he still has two years remaining on his current deal.

Writer’s View

Clarke-Salter may not have been a key man for Chelsea, as he was tipped to be by Terry eight years ago. However, he’s still had a decent career in the Championship and helped pull off one of the great escapes in the EFL this season.

Still at a young age, the centre-back has plenty of time to become a Premier League player so it wouldn’t be surprising if clubs in the top-flight see him as someone who could strengthen their defensive departments over the coming months.

About Adam Scully 1082 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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