Norwich City have confirmed the signing of talented young Peterborough United Flynn Clarke for an undisclosed fee, in addition to the club’s Under-23 team initially.
News emerged in January that the Canaries had turned down an offer for the attacking midfielder, but Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony revealed earlier this month that the 18-year-old was set to join a Premier League side after deciding not to sign a new contract.
City confirmed the move this morning with Clarke signing a deal until 2024, with an option for an additional year. He becomes the second signing of youngsters announced by the Canaries so far this summer, after the arrival of Southend forward Kenny Coker.
Clarke scored three goals and assisted one in 11 appearances last season, missing the last two months of the campaign with a hip injury.
One of those goals was voted best of the season by Posh fans, for a spectacular 25-yard strike against Cambridge in the Papa John’s Trophy in November, which took off from the crossbar.
Either way, he had only played once since December, in an EFL Trophy quarter-final loss to Tranmere in February, after also being an unused substitute for seven Ligue 1 games earlier in. the season.
The Telegraph reported in January that Peterborough had turned down an offer from Norwich worth around £ 300,000 plus additions for Clarke, who had already been called up to the Under-19 level by Scotland thanks to the birth from his father in Glasgow.
“I feel absolutely delighted to be here, I am over the moon,” Clarke told City’s official website.
“The club is a great club. They look at a lot of young people and try to make a path for them.
“The club opened my eyes and caught my attention and were recently promoted to the Premier League so it seems obvious to me.
“I would like to try to make a breakthrough in the senior team, I would like to show all the fans, staff and players around me what I am capable of and I hope I can get a jersey.”
Clarke had been on the books at Peterborough since the age of nine and signed a professional contract on her 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 manager of Posh in January 2019 and has just brought the club back to the championship.
When Clarke signed his pro contract later that year, Ferguson told his club’s website: “As soon as I got back into the building, Flynn was someone I really loved. He mostly plays like a 10, is a good build, an athlete and can score you a goal.
“Unfortunately he suffered a serious injury as he would have been in the squad and undoubtedly would have played in the first team if he had been fit.
“He is only 17 years old, but we think he will be a good player in the future.”
It remains to be seen whether the Canaries will look to loan Clarke, like so many of the club’s young talents, with notable loan success for twins Murphy, 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 towards the Scottish Championship Inverness Caledonian Thistle for the season.
The Canaries won’t have the Papa John Trophy matches available for development this season, but after it was confirmed that for the first time since Tier 1 clubs started being invited in 2016, all 16 clubs top ranked Premier League team had accepted the invitation. .
Last season, the City youths beat Newport and Plymouth in the group stage to reach the round of 16, with players like Andrew Omobamidele and Tyrese Omotoye impressing.
It ended abruptly in a 6-0 loss to MK Dons, with David Wright deprived of some of his more experienced academy talents that night.
Confirmation of Clarke’s arrival continues a busy week for the Canaries, following the announcement of first-team signings Milot Rashica and Angus Gunn.