Ciaran Clark was unlucky last season when an injury caused him to lose his place to new signing Florian Lejeune.
Florian himself was injured in the first 45 minutes of the season, and he was out a few months with a foot injury.
Clark played 22 games last season with 2 goals and an assist and Lejeune played 24 games with two assists, so they split the duties last season.
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles played 35 times with 3 goals and held down the other center-back position.
Chancel Mbemba is very close to joining Porto and Rafa will bring in another center-back this summer to replace him.
Ciaran Clark – in action at West Brom last year
But Clark is a valuable player for us who has been outstanding in the two seasons he’s been at Newcastle – he was excellent in our promotion season.
And it’s players like this who we have to keep at the club if we are to build a top squad under Rafa Benitez.
This is what the 28-year-old Republic of Ireland International (29 caps, 2 goals) had to say on the Newcastle website:
“We knew it was going to be tough coming into the season. We obviously believed in our ability, but to finish in the top ten at the end of it was unbelievable.”
“It’s been a massive effort throughout the whole club – not just the players on the pitch but the staff, all around the ground and all around the training ground, and everyone involved with Newcastle.”
“The fans have traveled home, and away and it’s been a massive help to everyone. The support was unbelievable and it was a massive club effort.”
“We always believed in our ability; sometimes we went through rough stages and tough spells but we always believed we’d come out of it and turn it around.”
“That was by keeping doing what we were doing and what we were practicing on the training pitch.”
“Everyone put a massive effort in. It was a long season but it’s where we wanted to be – to be in the Premier League, playing against the best teams and best players in the world.”
“It was up and down but our aim was just to get as many points on the board as possible and compete against the teams that were around us.”
“We managed to do that and we finished up in tenth place, which was unbelievable for us.”
“The aim now is we want to improve on what we’ve done.”
“Hopefully we can do that next season, but everyone right now is enjoying their break and looking forward to coming back and cracking on again.”
Good comments there from Clark.
Jamaal Lascelles has formed two good partnerships with both Clark and Lejeune, and it’s a strength that Newcastle now have in central defense.
The defense has also been strengthened by the arrival of top goalkeeper Martin Dubravka this summer.
Ciaran Clark has shown his character, class, and professionalism by not grumbling or complaining when he lost his position in the side – and we have to keep him at the club.
It’s players with the attitude of Ciaran that can help make Newcastle great again under the leadership and guidance of manager Rafa Benitez.