Bobby Clark has only been at Liverpool for three weeks, but the 16-year-old forward signed from Newcastle United this summer has already made a big impression.
Clark scored his first goal in a Liverpool shirt against Watford in a behind-closed-doors friendly during the international break, and then followed that up with his first competitive goal against Nottingham Forest in U18 Premier League North last weekend.
Two goals; two games. Not a bad start to life at a new club.
His father, Newcastle legend Lee Clark, is a revered figure in the North East, and that is a part of the world that Clark junior has grown up in, but the chance to turn out for Liverpool was too big to miss.
“Bobby was Newcastle’s most promising youngster,” the Newcastle Chronicle’s chief Newcastle United reporter Lee Ryder told the ECHO on a special Bobby Clark podcast exclusively for members of the Blood Red Club.
“He is a really exciting player with bags of skill and talent. He could have lit up the stage at St James’ Park but now he has gone to Liverpool and that is a real kick in the teeth.
“Tottenham were in for him, Bayern Munich were at one point, and I heard a host of other top clubs around the continent knew about him – but he decided to go to Liverpool.
“Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world, so why wouldn’t he go there?”
The draw to Anfield was obvious, and no doubt the fact that other players of a similar age have got chances under Jurgen Klopp played a part in Clark’s decision.
So too did a one-to-one sit down with the Reds boss, who helped convince him on the move.
“If you go into a room with Jurgen Klopp and there is a decision to be made, you are walking away with the ink drying on the contract because he is a phenomenal manager and human being,” Ryder continued.
“You cannot blame him for making the decision because the ambition simply isn’t there at Newcastle at the minute.
“He’s a young forward and he is still only 16, so his best position is still to be decided, but he is attacking and dynamic and has all the skills – he is going to be a presence in the final third.
“Liverpool have so many players capable of playing on the front foot and that is something Bobby would love to be involved with.”
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So, how excited should Liverpool be to have got this deal over the line? That Klopp personally spoke to Clark before he signed perhaps says plenty about the level of talent the player has, and how much Liverpool wanted to bring him in.
The view from Newcastle is absolutely clear on the huge ceiling and ability level the forward possesses.
“You have always go to be very careful with comparisons but for me – and I don’t talk about this lightly – but at the same sort of age, you had a young Paul Gascoigne at Newcastle,” Ryder explained.
“It was before the days of nutrition, dietitians and all of that, so Gascoigne was carrying a lot more weight than Bobby, but the reality is that sort of raw skill reminds me a little bit of Gazza at the same age.
“That is a very high target to go for, but comparing them at the same age, there is a similarity there for me.
“Gascoigne had an unbelievable career but not always the right guidance and nutrition around him, but Bobby has that around him and an opportunity to become the complete player.”
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