Birmingham City have acquired defender Jake Clarke-Salter on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea. The England under-21 international captained his country at the recent European Under-21 Championships and has spent time on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, Sunderland and Bristol Rovers previously.
A highly-rated young player, he played 28 times whilst on loan in the Netherlands last year – the most prolific spell of his young career – yet has featured only 24 times in this country.
In this scout report, we will provide a tactical analysis of Clarke-Salter and his game, and use our analysis to look at how he may fit into Birmingham’s team and their tactics ahead of the forthcoming season.
Where will he operate?
New Blues manager Pep Clotet – who took over the role after his former manager Garry Monk was dismissed in the summer – has operated with both a back four and a back three over pre-season, and Clarke-Salter’s presence within his available squad is a big reason as to why both formations are possible. He is naturally left-footed, and so provides a great balance to any side he lines up in, in that he gives symmetry to any right-footed partner or partners. This allows the side to be in equilibrium when attacking and ensures that attacks from deep are not funnelled down the right-hand side as a result of a lack of left-footed competence in defence.
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