Ipswich Town have completed the signing of Arsenal defender Harry Clarke.

It's understood that a seven-figure fee has been paid for versatile 21-year-old, who can play centre-back or down the right side.

Born in Ipswich, Clarke started out at Brantham Athletic before joining Town's academy. He left for Arsenal at the age of 14 for a compensation fee and has had loan spells with Oldham, Ross County, Hibernian and Stoke City.

He pens a three-and-a-half year deal at Portman Road, the club having the option to extend that by a further 12 months, and becomes the Blues’ fourth addition of the January transfer window following the arrivals of midfielder Massimo Luongo (Middlesbrough, free), striker George Hirst (Leicester, loan) and forward Nathan Broadhead (Everton, £1.5m).

Clarke is described as being 'fit and ready to contribute' having been a regular starter for Championship club Stoke City during a recent loan spell.

East Anglian Daily Times: Harry Clarke has signed a contract until 2026.Harry Clarke has signed a contract until 2026. (Image: Ipswich Town FC)

“It’s been a long couple of days but what a feeling to be back”, said Clarke, who has selected squad number 34 - a nod to his grandfather Terry Clarke, who was born in 1934 and was on the books with Town in the 1950s.

“I’m home and it feels good. The style of play is something I really like, and I want to be a part of it.

“The conversations with the manager have been great and he solidified my decision to come back. I can’t wait to step out of the tunnel at Portman Road, it will be an amazing feeling.”

Blues boss Kieran McKenna said: "Harry brings a lot of the qualities that we want in the team now and for the future.

“I think he’s a really good fit for where we want to go. Of course, he has links and history with the club and the area which is a bonus as well.

“He’s coming in fit and he’s been playing. We want him to be involved in the immediate future.

“We’ve brought four really good players in the building now which gives us good depth and numbers in all the positions we want.”

Clarke played as a forward and midfield player when coming through the youth ranks at Ipswich, but was converted into a centre-back by Arsenal.

This season he has been playing as a right-back or right wing-back for a Stoke side that currently sit four points above the relegation zone.

Aged under 21 at the start of last year, he will not count towards the Blues' 22-man senior squad limit.

McKenna will now have to pick an 18-man matchday squad from 25 fit first team players. 

Clarke will vie for a starting position with Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden, Cameron Burgess, George Edmundson and Richard Keogh.

The Blues, third in the League One table with 20 games to go, travel to Oxford United on Saturday and then host Morecambe next Tuesday night.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Harry Clarke returns to the club he left at the age of 14.Harry Clarke returns to the club he left at the age of 14. (Image: Ipswich Town FC)


Walton, Hladky, Coleman; Clarke, Donacien, Vincent-Young; Woolfenden, Burgess, Edmundson, Keogh; Davis, Leigh, Penney; Morsy, Evans, Humphreys, Luongo, Ball*, Camara*; Burns, Jackson; Chaplin, Aluko; Broadhead, Harness, Edwards; Hirst, Ladapo, Ahadme, John-Jules*.

* Injured.

Out on loan (5): Ndaba, Baggott, Harper, El Mizouni, Pigott.