Ciaran Clark's seven year Aston Villa stint is over, as the Irish centre back has today joined Newcastle United.
Earlier this week, we reported that Newcastle had met Clark's £5.1 million release clause, and today the deal has gone through, with both clubs confirming the news on social media.
Transfer news: @C_Clark_6 has joined @NUFC on a five-year deal. Good luck in the future, Ciaran. #AVFC pic.twitter.com/KzXmCyswt7— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 3, 2016
CONFIRMED: @C_Clark_6 has signed for Newcastle United! ⚫️⚪️#WelcomeCiaran #NUFC pic.twitter.com/tjcJyFoMKb— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 3, 2016
As Newcastle met Clark's release clause, there wasn't much for Villa to do to convince Clark to stay, though I'm not convinced that the Republic of Ireland international will be too badly missed. Along with the left fullback position, central defence is probably the only position in the Aston Villa squad with depth, and given that Clark wasn't a first choice starter, his absence shouldn't be too badly missed.
For a player who never really lived up to his early potential, £5.1m isn't too bad a fee to receive, especially considering that Villa have too many times allowed their academy graduates to leave for next to nothing (Daniel Johnson anyone?). Clark strengthening Newcastle United's defence, of all teams, isn't ideal, but on his own, Clark is not a match winner for Newcastle. If Villa lose Clark but sign Ross McCormack, I'd call today's transfer movements a net win.