After a disappointing Premier League season for Middlesbrough they got relegated straight back down to the Championship. Newcastle after getting relegated in the 15/16 season bounced straight back up and will be in the Premier League for the 17/18 season but could Middlesbrough do the same?
A major deal about Premier League teams getting relegated is they’re very likely to lose some of the key players in the team. Already: Victor Valdes, Bernard Espinosa, Viktor Fischer, James Husband, Antonio Barragan (loan) and Alvaro Negredo going back to Valencia after ending his loan. Captain and chairman’s nephew, Ben Gibson, is the biggest name likely to leave the club and has been linked with big money moves away to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea as well as other Premier League clubs. Gibson is valued for around £30 million by the club and Sky Sports have reported Ben Gibson is expected to leave as he wants to play Premier League football. Adama Traore is another name linked with a move away from the club to Premier League newbies Newcastle.
Moving on to Middlesbrough’s previous Championship campaigns, ever since Gareth Soughgate lost the job as the Middesbrough boss after disappointing campaigns of not getting promoted and missing out on play offs. Aitor Karanka came in and his first season he got the team to the play offs as they fell short in the final to Norwich losing 2-0 due to goals from Nathan Redmond and Cameron Jerome. The next season was much improved with Middlesbrough finishing second guaranteeing promotion to the Premier League.
Now incoming’s into the club, first of all midfielder Jonny Howson has been signed from Norwich for a fee of £6 million, that same day Middlesbrough signed Derby defender Cyrus Christie for a fee of £2.5 million. The next player that has been brought in recently is versatile Toulouse attacker Martin Braithwaite for a fee of £10 million which has got the Middlesbrough fans very excited, well known for his pace and finishing he’s expected to be one of the stars of the championship. Another signing that is close to be happening is Britt Assombalonga for a fee of £15 million for the 24 year old. Middlesbrough are also favourites for loan signing of Ojo from Liverpool who has caught their eye after playing well for England in under 20’s world cup.
It’s a known fact that one of Middlesbrough struggled last year due to lack of goals so the 4 strikers would be Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede, Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga. Bamford scored 17 goals in 38 games last time he was at Middlesbrough on loan in the 2014-15 season. Gestede scored 20 goals in 39 games in the 2014-15 season with Blackburn Rovers. Assombalonga scored 14 goals in 32 games in the 2016-17 season. So those 3 are proven Championship goalscorers and adding Martin Braithwaite from Toulouse scoring 11 goals in 34 games in the 16-17 season in Ligue 1 (top division in France).
To conclude the article even if Middlesbrough do lose key players in Ben Gibson and Adama Traore they have brought in some excellent players to add to the quality of the squad and in my opinion favourites to win the Championship with enthusiastic new manager Gary Monk.
Should Middlesbrough be considered the favourites for the league? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Paul Hudson