Enough to warrant a longer spell in the team?
That might all be dependent on how things go in the next couple of games, but he’s certainly put himself in a great position. I’m talking of course about Jake Clarke-Salter, and how he’s managed to perform given his few appearances this season.
And those performances have been enough to act the attention of boss Pep Clotet. Speaking during his press conference ahead of the game with Huddersfield Town, Clotet said that he has done incredibly well given the tough scenarios he’s been dealing with, and that his experience will only help him going forward:
“I realise that he did very well according to the circumstances and he offers a different kind of game to Harlee and Robbo. He offers us a little bit more pace and he offers different things offensively. With the suspension we thought he was the one to step in and we’re very confident that he will improve further on Saturday.”
He better make the most of it, because it might be the last game that he plays for a while. When Harlee Dean comes back from his suspension, it’s going to be very hard to make the argument to drop the captain for him, even more so when you consider Dean is currently ahead of him in terms of tackles, interceptions and clearances (via WhoScored). It’s not even a case of sliding in beside Dean either, because he trails his centre-back partner Marc Roberts in the same categories (via WhoScored).
Which in the grand scheme of things seems incredibly harsh, because as Clotet says, he hasn’t put a foot wrong given the circumstances, and deserves his place in the starting line-up, but if you look at the numbers, it looks like he’s going to be back out of the side for the foreseeable future when Dean returns.
Perhaps a change in formation is going to be the best way to get him some regular minutes, to a 3-5-2/5-3-2? If he wasn’t on loan, I wouldn’t feel like I should try and rush him into the team as it were, but much like I saidI said about Josh McEachran yesterday, if we have him we might as well use him, otherwise it seems like a bit of a waste of space.
Should Jake Clarke-Salter be more prominent in the first team?
And this isn’t just for the sake of it, as Clotet he offers the team something, but he can’t do it when he’s on the bench.