After signing for Middlesbrough just 12 months ago, Viktor Fischer has departed Boro. He has signed a four-year deal with German side FSV Mainz. Fischer struggled for game time at Middlesbrough. He made just 16 appearances in all competitions last season. However, many Boro fans believed that Fischer had been underused and could have been a real threat in the Championship next season.
Despite this shared view, new boss Garry Monk did not see it that way. He told Fischer he was not a part of his plans and thus Fischer has moved to Mainz in hopes of reviving his career.
Now Fischer has left, Stewart Downing has been told he can leave and Adam Traore is attracting attention from several clubs, Middlesbrough’s winger situation is not looking good. This is especially bad when Middlesbrough’s attack was already in need of improvement so selling Fischer really did not help that.
Now one thing is clear. Middlesbrough need to sign some good quality wingers if they want to stand any chance of promotion next season. Here are three potential options to fill Fischer’s role.
Helder Costa is a 23-year-old Portuguese winger currently signed for Championship side Wolves. Costa arrived from Benfica for an astonishing £12.75 million in January this year after spending over a year on loan at Wolves. Since arriving from Portugal, Costa has been one of the best wingers in the Championship. In his 35 appearances last season he earned 10 goals and eight assists. A very respectable tally considering Wolves themselves finished in 15th place. Another big plus point of the winger is his pace and flair, which he has in abundance. This would be a key point for Boro as chairman Steve Gibson is desperate to add pace and flair to his side.
Wolves themselves do not want to sell Costa. But it is quite clear Costa’s ability is much better than a club that finishes 15th in the Championship. So while Boro may have to pay a hefty price to allow Wolves to sell him, if Middlesbrough do sign him, there’s no doubt he would do fantastic in Middlesbrough’s squad and would really help in the Teessider’s promotion push.
Larson is a left winger from Sweden who plays for Dutch club SC Heerenveen in the Eredivisie. Larsson is 24 years of age and has been playing for Heerenveen for three years. His most impressive season would have to be this past one. He played a total of 31 league games managing nine goals and 13 assists. His 13 assists were also the most in the Eredivisie last season. This shows what a quality player he is and that he would certainly be able to smash the Championship.
Granted you may think there is no way he would ever come to Middlesbrough in the Championship. But his current club Heerenveen are an average Dutch side who finished 9th last season. So it’s not like he is going to be getting European football. Furthermore, if you can convince him that Middlesbrough will get promoted next season and that he’d then be playing in the Premier League, it’s likely he would sign.
The final winger who could replace Fischer is Fulham attacker Sone Aluko. Aluko was a key part of the Fulham side that finished in the play-offs last season. He played most of his games as a right winger or behind the striker. Two positions Boro are short on. He is also very fast, which is something Middlesbrough want to add of. Moreover, last season he boasted a very impressive eight goals and 12 assists in the league. This shows he can add both goals and creativity.
Also, Aluko knows what it takes to be a part of a promotion winning side as he was part of the Hull City side that won the play-offs in 2015/16.
Aluko is 28 meaning he would probably be the cheapest of the three wingers mentioned. But despite his age, he is still a fast winger who could add much-needed goals and assists to lacklustre Boro attack.
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