ASPIN KEEN TO RE­TAIN SER­VICES OF AS­TON VILLA TEENAGER CLARK

The Sentinel - - SPORT - Michael Bag­ga­ley

PORT Vale boss Neil Aspin is hop­ing Mitch Clark’s suc­cess in the first half of the sea­son will help the Valiants hang on to the tal­ented de­fender for the rest of the cam­paign. The 19-year-old is with Vale on a sea­son-long loan, but As­ton Villa have a re­call clause in Jan­uary and Aspin ac­cepts he may lose the young­ster if a higher di­vi­sion club comes in for him. But the man­ager be­lieves the fact Clark has been getting reg­u­lar foot­ball at Vale Park will count in the Valiants’ favour when the Cham­pi­onship gi­ants con­sider his fu­ture. Clark is cur­rently out of ac­tion with a ham­string prob­lem and be­ing treated back at Villa. But Aspin is hop­ing he could be back train­ing with Vale as early as next week. He ex­plained: “He is only back there getting treat­ment. He will prob­a­bly be train­ing with us next week and he will stay with us un­less they re­call him. So, at the mo­ment he is with us and he will con­tinue with us un­less they can get him a club prob­a­bly higher up the chain. “I would be dis­ap­pointed if he went to an­other club in this di­vi­sion. But every­body wants to play higher and you would have to say he has a bet­ter chance of getting into As­ton Villa’s team if he is play­ing at a League One club reg­u­larly. “But I think from As­ton Villa’s point of view, they have loaned us a player and he has played ev­ery game so it has been good for them as well.” The Valiants re­turn to ac­tion this af­ter­noon when they are away to More­cambe. Leon Legge will again miss the game through ill­ness so Aspin could name the same XI that started in Tues­day’s 4-0 win at home to Stoke City un­der-21s in the Check­a­trade Tro­phy. Mean­while, Vale will find out their next op­po­nents in the Tro­phy when the draw for the last 16 is made at around 12.20pm on Sky Sports to­day.

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