Harry Clarke: Hibs sign Arsenal defender - but two 'break' clauses inserted into deal

Hibs have completed the signing of Arsenal defender Harry Clarke, adding him to their growing list of reinforcements as they plot their climb up the league standings when the action resumes on January 17.

Harry Clarke, who spent the first part of this season at Ross County, has completed his move to Hibs.
Harry Clarke, who spent the first part of this season at Ross County, has completed his move to Hibs.

Joining Chris Mueller, Dylan Tait, Elias Melkersen and Ewan Henderson, the latest signing of the Shaun Maloney era is the first to offer defensive clout. He is not expected to be the last with talks ongoing with another centre-back and further ins and outs projected.

Clarke, 20, who can operate as a right-sided centre-back or right-back, spent the first half of the season on loan at fellow Premiership side Ross County where he earned rave reviews but he has now made the switch to the capital.

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Signed on an 18-month loan, which includes two break clauses, which can be triggered by Arsenal in the summer or in January 2023, he will wear the number two shirt.

As well as proving a solid contributor in the Highlander’s backline as they fought to escape the relegation zone, he also weighed in with three goals and two assists in his 17 appearances.

The Ipswich-born youngster, who has been capped at England age group level, started out at his hometown club before switching to Arsenal’s youth set up in 2015. Since then he has worked his way through the ranks within the London club, adding in loan spells at Oldham and then Ross County.

Despite Dingwall boss Malky Mackay being a strong admirer of the defender, Clarke was recalled by Arsenal at the end of December. He looked set to make a quick return to the Scottish Premiership and completed his medical on Tuesday, when the deal was agreed, but an administrative issue south of the border delayed his unveiling as a Hibs player.

Happy to get the contract over the line and welcome Clarke into his squad, Maloney said: “Harry has very good technical attributes in both attacking and defensive actions, and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to secure him for the club.

“He will bring an exciting energy and speed in both areas, and I have no doubt he’ll be a big asset for us.

“I know how hungry he is to succeed and be a part of this club. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”