Posh talent 'over the moon' to seal Canaries switch
- Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher
Norwich City have confirmed the signing of talented Peterborough United youngster Flynn Clarke for an undisclosed fee, as an addition to the club's under-23 squad initially.
News emerged in January of the Canaries having a bid turned down for the attacking midfielder but Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony revealed earlier this month that the 18-year-old was poised to join a Premier League squad after deciding not to sign a new contract.
City confirmed that transfer this morning with Clarke signing a deal until 2024, with an option for a further year. He becomes the second youth signing announced by the Canaries so far this summer, following the arrival of striker Kenny Coker from Southend.
Clarke scored three goals and assisted one during 11 appearances last season, missing the final couple of months of the campaign with a hip injury.
One of those goals was voted the best of the season by Posh supporters, for a spectacular 25-yard strike against Cambridge in the Papa John's Trophy in November, which went in off the crossbar.
He had only featured once since December anyway though, during an EFL Trophy quarter-final defeat to Tranmere in February, having also been an unused substitute for seven League One games earlier in the season.
The Telegraph reported in January that Peterborough had turned down an offer from Norwich worth around £300,000 plus add-ons for Clarke, who has previously been called up at under-19 level by Scotland thanks to his dad being born in Glasgow.
“I feel absolutely delighted to arrive here, I’m over the moon," Clarke told City's official website.
“The club is a great club. They look at a lot of the youngsters and try to make a pathway for them.
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"The club opened my eyes and grabbed my attention and were recently promoted to the Premier League, so it feels like a no-brainer for me.
“I’d like to try to make a breakthrough to the senior team, I’d like to show all the fans, staff and players around me what I’m capable of and hopefully I can get a shirt.”
Clarke was on the books at Peterborough from the age of nine and signed a professional contract on his 17th birthday in December 2019 which was due to expire next year.
He is the grandson of former Northern Ireland, Peterborough and Southampton striker Colin Clarke.
Darren Ferguson returned for a third spell as Posh manager in January 2019 and has just led the club back into the Championship.
When Clarke had signed his professional deal later that year, Ferguson had told his club's website: “As soon as I came back into the building, Flynn was someone that I really liked. He plays as a 10 predominantly, is a good size, an athlete and can get you a goal.
"Unfortunately, he picked up a bad injury because he would have been in the squad and would have without a doubt played in the first team had he been fit.
“He is only 17, but we believe he will be a good player in the future."
It remains to be seen if the Canaries will look to get Clarke out on loan, as with so many of the club's young talents, with notable loan success for the Murphy twins, James Maddison, Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell in recent years.
The first of many loans likely to be confirmed has already been announced, with midfielder Reece McAlear heading to Scottish Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle for the season.
The Canaries will not have the Papa John's Trophy matches available for development this season though after it was confirmed that for the first time since category one clubs started to be invited in 2016, all 16 of the top-ranking Premier League clubs had accepted the invite.
Last season City's youngsters beat Newport and Plymouth in the group stages to reach the knockout stages, with players including Andrew Omobamidele and Tyrese Omotoye impressing.
That was finished abruptly by a 6-0 defeat at MK Dons though, with David Wright being without some of his more experienced academy talents on the night.
Confirmation of Clarke's arrival continues a busy week for the Canaries, following on from the announcement of first-team signings Milot Rashica and Angus Gunn.