The former Newcastle United midfielder has participated in finishing drills alongside the likes of Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Kevin Phillips, Les Ferdinand and Louis Saha in his time, so it is a fair old compliment when he says he sees a little bit of all of them in Jordan Rhodes.
Clark set the Scotland striker on his path to the big time when he shrewdly recruited him for Huddersfield Town from Ipswich Town, only for the manager to be shown the door when Rhodes was halfway through his record 48-goal haul which took the Yorkshire side into the npower Championship. The bad news for Celtic fans is that he already feels the 21-year-old is almost certainly out of the reach of his Scottish suitors. The Parkhead club had the player watched on at least six occasions last season, but having been party to the talks in the Huddersfield boardroom last January, when they rejected £4m bids from West Ham United and others, Clark feels even a bid in the region of £7m or £8m may not be enough to release him. Celtic have Everton, Reading, West Ham and Fulham for company in the list of interested parties.
"I have played with some fantastic goal-scorers and like all of those lads Jordan is a fantastic finisher who consistently works at his art," Clark told Herald Sport. "Whenever he does shooting practice, it is never done half-heartedly, he does it as if it is a match. He also works very, very hard on the other side of his game as well.
"The chairman has got his dream of taking them into the Championship and now it is the Premier League; that is his ambition and his drive, and they turned down some fantastic offers for Jordan in January. The figures being spoken about then were north of £4m. So clubs are going to have to match those figures just to get Huddersfield negotiating.
"Whether Jordan would want to leave just now I am not sure, certainly if they hadn't got promoted he would have gone. But it is a different situation now. The owner will be trying to convince him he could be a Premier League player with Huddersfield in a year's time. It might take £7m or £8m to turn the chairman's head, and whether even that will be enough I don't know."
Some in-demand strikers might be tempted to rock the boat in order to win a move. Such an approach is anathema to the homespun Rhodes, who has honed his game to become one of the most exiting young players in the British game since Clark first set eyes upon him. "I was assistant at Norwich City at the time and, with Ipswich being local rivals, I saw quite a bit of Jordan in youth and reserve football," Clark said. "All he wanted was to get on the end of the pass or the cross and finish these chances off. When I first put the request in to Ipswich I didn't expect a positive answer, but I didn't get a yes or a no, so I pursued it and we ended up with a fantastic footballer."
Compared to the potential of Rhodes, signing someone else this summer might seem like a come down, but Clark feels Leon Best would also make an excellent addition to the Parkhead squad. Best, who rejected a deadline day move from Newcastle United, is available once more for a fee in the region of £1m. Clark feels Neil Lennon could do worse than take the powerful Republic of Ireland internationalist, who played 19 times for Newcastle last season.
"He is a very quick, powerful striker and one of the players this year who has done great for the club," Clark said. "He picked up an injury in January and then the signing of Papiss Cisse meant his opportunities to play were limited. But I could definitely see him having a positive impact for Neil."
Clark's closest link to events at Parkhead, however, resides in the form of Alan Thompson, the sacked first-team coach who is now suing the club for wrongful dismissal. Regardless of the rights or wrongs, Clark, a close friend, feels Thompson won't be out of a job for long. Indeed, it isn't too much of a stretch to suggest the pair might even work together in the future.
"It is a very sore subject for everyone," Clark said. "All I know is that Alan loved his time at Celtic both as a player and a coach, and is saddened he is no longer part of it. There will be opportunities for him in the not-too-distant future."