Albion’s on-loan centre-half Matt Clarke has been tipped for a bright future in the game.

Clarke is on a season-long loan at Championship outfit Derby and could be set for FA Cup action tonight when the Rams go to Northampton Town in the BT Sport televised clash.

Former Derby defender Michael Johnson, who is part of the England Under-21 coaching set-up under the FA’s Elite Coach Placement Programme, has sung the praises of the Seagulls’ summer buy who has helped the Rams to a six-game unbeaten run.

Clarke has made 18 appearances for the Midlands club under Phillip Cocu despite his season being disrupted by injury.

And he grabbed his first goal last weekend in the 1-0 win over Hull City.

Johnson, who made 138 appearances for Derby between 2003 and 2008, likes what he has seen of Clarke, who had four years at Pompey before Albion swooped.

Ex-Jamaica and Guyana coach Johnson said: “If you have a run of games then you can get into a trend of what kind of character and personality of the player you’re going to become.

“I still think Matt is finding his feet with that because of the injury that he had earlier in the season.

“What we can say is that he is a young man with a lot of potential. If he continues in the way he is then not only will he be good for us this season, but he will have a wonderful career as well.”