25 Games In: Jake Clarke-Salter

It has been an almost seamless integration into the Coventry City back-line for Jake Clarke-Salter. A left-footed centre-back was required and that is exactly what Jake Clarke-Salter is. A solid performer who has had some excellent displays and one or two poor displays, Clarke-Salter is at exactly the right level of club for his level of talent filling the exact role that the club requires. Jake Clarke-Salter has improved Coventry City, Coventry City have improved Jake Clarke-Salter.

As a centre-back, Jake Clarke-Salter isn’t necessarily blessed with stand-out physical or technical qualities but is a good all-rounder. Not the tallest but isn’t easily beaten in the air. Not the fastest but can match opponents in foot races. Not the best ball-player but can step into midfield and distribute effectively. The balance that Clarke-Salter offers the team as a left-footer has helped open up the pitch, contributing to Coventry City’s stronger qualities in possession this season. The main weakness in Clarke-Salter’s game is a tendency to lunge into challenges rather than looking to marshal opponents, which leaves him prone to conceding fouls or letting opponents clean through when he gets it wrong.

At 24 years-old and out of contract at the end of the season, Jake Clarke-Salter will be looking to take the next step in his career and there is little reason why that shouldn’t be with Coventry City. He is in an environment where he is playing regular football, with only injuries having prevented him from starting more games this season, at a club where there is further progression to be had. Clarke-Salter being a left-footer will inevitably draw more interest in his services due to his relative rarity, but he hasn’t been a good signing for the Sky Blues just because he is left-footed, he has been a solid and consistent presence in the defence.

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