After a pulsating 1-1 draw on the final day of the Championship regular season with Brighton, Middlesbrough confirmed their return to the top flight for the first time since 2009. Boro pipped the Seagulls to automatic promotion on goal difference to join Burnley in the Premier League next year and now attention is turning to how best to go about the transfer window this summer.
With the new TV deal coming into play, the North East club will have better funding than most of the sides to have ever come up into the top division of late and this will prove vital in their quest to stay in the big time for more than just the one season.
Promoted sides are usually some of the most active teams during a transfer window and with the new riches winging their way to each of next season’s 20 clubs, Middlesbrough will be looking to do plenty of business. It’ll be tough to stay in one of the world’s most competitive leagues but here at FootballFanCast we think signing these FIVE players would go along way in helping them do that.
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos has been a permanent fixture for Middlesbrough this year, featuring in every Championship game, keeping 22 clean sheets in the process. Impressive stats to say the least with the best defensive record in the league but keeping out Premier League attackers is a completely different proposition.
Konstantopoulos, at the age of 37, doesn’t have many years left and Boro may want to make the change now before the Greek veteran shows the inevitable signs of decline.
Someone like Michel Vorm would be ideal for Boro. He has Premier League experience and knows how to stay up from his Swansea days. Add in that he doesn’t currently play for Spurs and the Dutch international becomes an attractive option, and one that would surely jump at the chance for first team action.
Looking at Middlesbrough’s strikers, there’s a surprising lack of goals.
David Nugent has eight in 38 games, Cristhian Stuani seven in 36 and Jordan Rhodes six in 18. Whilst Rhodes came in halfway through the season, more had been expected of him and, if Jermain Defoe at Sunderland tells us anything, proven goalscorers stave off relegation. Rhodes may still come good but the Riverside club should bring in McCormack, who’s done wonders for a poor Fulham side scoring 21 goals and providing 9 assists.
Since Rafa Benitez joined Newcastle Sissoko has shown off the ability many suspected he had.
He combines strong running and an eye for a pass – he had made six assists this season – to make him a good box to box midfielder. He would add the required energy to compete in the midfield in a Premier League and would surely fancy another crack at the top flight after Newcastle’s relegation.
Gueye’s efforts have unfortunately been shrouded by the ongoing shambles at Aston Villa.
The midfielder would have been in for a strong chance for winning Player of the Year at the club had their awards gone ahead. Gueye tried in vain to halt the slide of the Midlands side, with his better passing percentage than N’Golo Kante and almost identical interceptions per game figures as the Frenchman illustrating his efforts. Gueye deserves another go, and could be an inspired signing if Middlesbrough go for him.
Although already at the club Ramirez is only currently on loan in the North East. The Uruguayan has found it difficult to settle in Britain but seems to have finally found a solid footing at Boro.
Seven goals in 18 games make for eye-catching reading from midfield and if the deal can be made permanent, Ramirez might finally be able to realise his potential at the Riverside next season.