It was being reported over the weekend that Aston Villa Academy graduate Mitch Clark’s performances for Port Vale had caught the attention of both West Ham United and Newcastle United.
StokeonTrentLive were one of a number of outlets to report on the Sunday Mirror’s print edition as they made the original claim about the 19-year-old talent, and his versatility for Vale so far – left-back, right-back and most recently right-wing back – was one of the reasons as to why he was apparently being scouted.
Coming from the Mirror, I tend to apply the logic “don’t believe them on any day of the week, but on Sunday I make two exceptions” and given they reference a ‘season-long loan’ but seem unaware that all deals have a natural January break clause of some kind when wibbling about recall options for new head coach Dean Smith, I further doubt the claims.
That said, he’s enjoying a very good loan spell and beginning to make a name for himself so generically getting onto clubs’ scouting lists has no doubt happened.
He’s ours though, he’s coming back – simple as that.
The player himself isn’t angling for a move either.
“I know Villa are watching me while I am playing for Vale. I just have to make sure I keep playing well and keep performing for Vale and try to help them get three points every week. Having been at the Villa academy since I was nearly six years old, I have always wanted the club to be able to get back to where we want to be. Hopefully I can eventually go back and try to get my way into the team.”
Given our defensive lack of balance, plenty raised an eyebrow when former manager Steve Bruce let him out given the performances he was putting in for our Under 23 side, but it was the right move to get him competitive action and bring his game on further. I would not be surprised if the January window saw him return at some point and come straight into Smith’s plans.