Newcastle have six top centre-backs, and the least appreciated before the start of the season was probably Ciaran Clark.

However, that’s totally changed since he came into the team against Manchester United back in October. He became a crucial figure during a great run for the Magpies, and his presence was missed over Christmas due to injury.

(Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

But the Republic of Ireland international returned last week at Wolves, and kept his place in the team against Chelsea. And what a performance it was.

Newcastle were rock solid at the back, and there was no one better than Clark. As Alan Shearer said on Match of the Day, he was our man of the match.

Clark dealt with everything that was thrown at him, winning big headers late on and providing world class blocks. There was an interception he made before the goal that was arguably just as important as Isaac Hayden’s winner.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

There wasn’t much fanfare when he arrived in 2016 for £5 million, but what a signing he’s been.

Clark has proven this season that he should be a mainstay in the starting XI, which is a testament to his quality when you consider the players he keeps out the side.

This Newcastle team are masters of the dirty side of the game. It’s not pretty but it’s damn effective. And Clark epitomises this team perfectly.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Fans toast heroic Ciaran Clark performance

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