Premier League Preview : Middlesbrough
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on August 6, 2016
1. Small intro 2. Business (transfers) 3. Season (expectations) 4. 3 key players 5. Conclusion
The dramatic last – day win against Brighton, which ultimately secured promotion back to the top flight, feels like just yesterday for most Boro fans, but two and a half months on, Middlesbrough are once again preparing for life in the Premier League. Boro have made 9 acquisitions thus far this Summer, with some stand out players arriving on Teesside, adding to an already tight knit squad.
1 – Viktor Fischer
Boro’s first signing of the Summer came in the form of Danish winger Viktor Fischer. Fischer is a product of Ajax’s famous youth academy, and was once hailed as one of football’s hottest prospects. However, a long term injury dramatically affected his career, and he will be hoping a move to Boro can aid his development.
2 – Bernardo Espinosa
Boro made their second signing a few weeks later, adding Colombian defender Bernardo Espinosa to their ranks. The experienced center back had a breakthrough season, establishing himself as a quality defender, before suffering a ligament injury in January, meaning he is likely to miss Boro’s first few games of the season.
3 – Marten De Roon
Next up is Dutch midfielder Marten De Roon, Boro’s most expensive Summer signing, costing upwards of £13 million. De Roon is the subject of raving reviews from Italy, and is often likened to new Chelsea man N’Golo Kante. De Roon has an incredible ability to turn defence into a attack, be that through a clever interception or crunching tackle.
4 – Victor Valdes
Boro’s most reputable signing of the Summer, Valdes has very much won everything anyone could ever dream of. The World Cup, The Euros, La Liga, The Champions League… The Premier League? Valdes brings with him a wealth of experience, and will surely be Boro’s new number one.
5 – Jordan McGhee
One for the future, Jordan McGhee has established himself an excellent young defender at Hearts, and recently joined Boro on loan for the season, with a view to a permanent move if all goes well in his development for the u21s. It is unlikely we will see McGhee in the first team set up this season, as the club see him as more of a project than a signing that can make an instant impact.
6 – Antonio Barragan
Antonio Barragan was a somewhat surprising signing by Boro this window, with Spanish football expert Guillem Balague describing him as a “middle man”, an average player that every team needs. He will battle fans favourite Emilio Nsue for the right back spot this summer, and will most likely play second fiddle, unless he can string together a run of impressive performances.
7 – Alvaro Negredo
Boro’s biggest coup of the window so far, Alvaro Negredo seems made to play the lone striker role in Aitor Karanka’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Negredo is fast, strong and possesses a real presence in the box. His deadly finishing was on show for all during his time at Manchester City, banging in more than 20 goals in his first season for the Citizens.
8 – Brad Guzan
USA’s number one has established himself as a solid Premier League goalkeeper during his 8 years at recently relegated Aston Villa. Guzan put in an excellent performance at Udinese, making some solid saves, and Boro fans were impressed with his ability to catch and keep hold of the ball.
Arguably Boro’s most important signing of the Summer, Ramirez carried Boro to promotion towards the back end of last season, scoring 7 goals in just 14 appearances. The South American has re-established himself as a Uruguayan international, and secured his work permit on Friday. The Boro faithful will be hoping he can recapture that sort of form in the Premier League, which he failed to do at both Southampton and Hull.
There is no denying Ayala was Boro’s best defender last season. He is an amzing ariel presence, and is very much a modern day center back. He is cool, calm and collected on and off the ball, and looks to make marauding runs forward at any given opportunity. He commands the defence, puts in vital tackles, and should easily make the step up to the top flight. There was speculation over whether Boro would secure his services for another year, as he was linked with a £15 million move to Newcastle, but he has since signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until 2019.
Boro’s player of the season, Adam Clayton was the classiest player in the league last season. He rarely puts a foot wrong, breaks up play with devastating tackles, blasts impressive long balls forward when required, and always looks comfortable on the ball. He is built for the Premier League, and has that top flight class about him.
The From The Stands writing team have concluded that Middlesbrough will finish in a more than respectable 13th position this season. This is due to the amazing business Boro have conducted so far, and we are backing Alvaro Negredo to fire Boro to safety. The players claim the promotion buzz is still around the camp, and they will be looking to build on that momentum and earn points early on in the season, due to their scary looking run-in.
By Michael (@MikeyyyBoro)