Clarke is beaming at the form of the midfielder, who recently signed a new four-year deal.
"It's good he's getting the recognition," he said.
"The fact that we got James to commit his future was great. He got that contract because his performances over the last 12 months have been really good. This year has been no exception.
"He has contributed really well to the team. He scores goals, creates goals, and he gives us that little connection between the midfield and the forwards that has been instrumental in the way we have played so far this season."