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Even though they haven’t broken their transfer record for a couple of years running now, Middlesbrough can certainly boast with some big-money signings throughout their history. Currently, Britt Assombalonga’s £15.3m move from Nottingham Forest in 2017/18 is still their biggest purchase to date.
Of course, the striker ended up becoming a great signing for Boro and one of the best that was playing at that level at the time. And his arrival eclipsed the previous record-holder, Afonso Alves, who was bought by the club from Heerenveen for £15.3m in 2007/08. Martin Braithwaite arrived in 2017/18 and was also quite expensive, costing the club £10.1m when he moved from Toulouse.
The past two seasons, however, pale in comparison to those signings and Adam Flint’s arrival in 2018/19 for £7.2m was the closest they’ve gotten to breaking the bank once again. But his signing was only expensive enough to slot into 16th place on the all-time record list.
When it comes to departures, Adama Traore and Ben Gibson take the cake with their price tags standing at record-high £18m and £15.2m respectively. Both left the club in 2018/19, the former joining Wolverhampton Wanderers and the latter Burnley in the Premier League.
Both deals also eclipsed the former most lucrative sale – that of Yakubu Aiyegbeni to Everton in 2007/08 for a reported fee of £14.8m.
If we first start with the famous transfers that happened in Middlesbrough’s more modern history, we have to mention both Traore and Gibson, both of whom were quite lucrative and impactful for the club.
Then we can go further back in history with Alves, Jonathan Woodgate, Massimo Maccarone and the like. But the real legends and the most impactful transfers all happened in the years gone by.
We simply have to mention both Juninho Paulista and Bryan Robson – both legends of the game and symbols of the club as a whole. Needless to say, both of their transfers were incredible pieces of business for Boro and are still remembered to this day.
Of course, they are not the only ones and the list could still go on but they are most certainly among the most famous transfers that played a key role in the club’s history, one way or the other. We’ll have to wait and see what exactly does the future have in store for Boro.