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Newcastle United have completed the signing of Republic of Ireland international defender Ciaran Clark.

The versatile 26-year-old joins from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee and has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at St. James' Park.

Clark came up through the ranks at Villa Park before making his debut in August 2009, while still a teenager.

It wasn't long before he became a regular in the Villa side and over the following six seasons made a further 158 appearances, scoring ten goals.

The centre-back has also won 19 caps for the Republic of Ireland, representing his nation at Euro 2016 this summer.

"Newcastle is a massive club so I'm really happy to be here," said Clark.

"Importantly, it is a club that is moving in the right direction and pushing for the right things, so I'm really excited to now be a part of that.

"Things seem to have progressed really quickly over the last few days but I'm delighted to have got it all done and be a part of this squad."

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez added: "Ciaran is a very versatile player, as a left-footed centre-back he can also play left-back and also as a defensive midfielder.

"He has a lot of experience of English football and will add good balance and competition to our squad.

"I am sure he will progress with us here at Newcastle, we are very happy for him to join us."

 

That's telling, isn't it.

Edited by Andrew

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Well, y'know, let's hope he's better here than he was at Villa.

 

I think that's as big a welcome as he'll get really. Can only hope he has something to prove, I guess.

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If only we'd signed him on loan eh?

 

Not thrilled by this signing as he's never looked impressive and struggled to get a game for them last season when they were incredibly bad. But we needed another centre back for cover and he can also cover a couple of other positions we're not massively well stocked in. I'll give him a chance the same as anyone and hope that Rafa can improve him into a premier league player. Not sure we're better off with him than Williamson though.

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I'm trying to take positives from this but every time I've seen him play he looked fucking lost, to the point where I thought to myself "How the fuck is he playing professional football'.

I think the whole "in Rafa we trust" thing is getting a bit out of hand. There's absolutely no reason why we can't question the signing of players that we don't think are up to the task. But if Rafa knew about Hayden (and from what Hayden's said he did) you would have to assume he knows about Clark too and sees more in him than we do.

 

Of course he's made mistakes in the past and I'm sure he will again.

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He's on a 5 year contract for £5mil and can play across the back 4 or in midfield. Even if he's not better than Willo or Taylor at least he is more versatile

 

It's a tough window, trying to convince players to drop into the championship when there are 20 clubs above us with money to burn. Even more so when we are trying to fill out the squad and players can't be guaranteed first team football

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Genuinely a like for like replacement for Williamson except about 10 times the cost....

 

Utterly astounded we have spent more than £10m on Clark and Hanley....

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Devils advocate then - who else could we have had for about the same price? I'm struggling to think of anyone who would be happy to drop down to us, and who would also would be that cheap.

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Devils advocate then - who else could we have had for about the same price? I'm struggling to think of anyone who would be happy to drop down to us, and who would also would be that cheap...

 

..and who would add anything to the squad.

 

People writing them off, without ever seeing them play. We're in the Championship, we need a squad that gives us the best chance of getting promoted at the 1st time of asking. Hanley has been one of the best CBs in this league for the past few seasons and we've got him for £5m, Clark is a utility defender and (as with Dummett) can cover positions to a sufficient standard that you won't worry too much.

 

Who were they expecting?

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It's only 2 days since you said you didn't have a clue about any of our signings and were begging people to guess at our first XI on your behalf

And here we are, 24 hours before our first game and no one seems sure what our starting 11 will be. Just seems odd to me.

 

Do you have a clue what it will be?

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That's not that weird in the context of a new manager and a new division and a number of signings. As long as Benitez knows, I couldn't give a shit what anyone on here thinks, and have no idea why you do.

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Genuinely a like for like replacement for Williamson except about 10 times the cost....

 

Utterly astounded we have spent more than £10m on Clark and Hanley....

On the face of it that's a fair point, but we've got a coach in the same league as Sir Bob now who actually has the ability motivate and to actually improve players as the season goes on. The vast majority of our squad won't have played for someone with Bentez's ability before, a lot of his ex players say he's the best they've worked with. Of course we're all allowed an opinion on who's coming in, but trying to play FM in our own heads doesn't allow for what might happen with the players during the season and how they might develop.

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I think Hanley is a pretty good signing. Whenever I've seen him play he's looked like exactly what we need. Clark I'm less enthused about but hope Rafa can get him to improve and appreciate he can cover (which is all I think he is) a few positions. I probably would have been more excited about signing a promising young kid from league one but in reality Clark offers more experience and reliability.

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we've got four options at centre back now, who look capable of playing in the championship. think lascelles and mbemba will be our first choice pairing with the other two and dummet offering cover.

 

still think we need a left back.

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we've got four options at centre back now, who look capable of playing in the championship. think lascelles and mbemba will be our first choice pairing with the other two and dummet offering cover.

 

still think we need a left back.

Agree re left back. While I agree with Mbemba and Lacelles being first choice, I do think Hanley will play a fair bit. I think Rafa will mix it up a bit because of the amount of games.

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we've got four options at centre back now, who look capable of playing in the championship. think lascelles and mbemba will be our first choice pairing with the other two and dummet offering cover.

 

still think we need a left back.

 

This is the key for me. I wonder if the people worried about the team were expecting us to buy Premier League players to sit on the bench?

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