Garry Monk kicked off Middlesbrough’s summer transfer window with the signings of Jonny Howson and Cyrus Christie. A centre midfielder and a right back making them both defensive signings. Thankfully for Middlesbrough fans though, Monk has finally turned his attention to Boro’s poor attack. The first player Monk looks to be bringing in to strengthen this attack is Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo.
Ojo was given his Liverpool debut by Jurgen Klopp in March 2016. He came off the bench against Southampton in a losing effort. Since then, however, Ojo has struggled to break into Liverpool’s first team. He has made just eight Premier League appearances for Klopp, scoring zero. But earning three assists in that time.
Ojo has also enjoyed two loan spells in the Championship. One with Wigan in 2014/15 when he made 11 appearances. The other in 2015/16 with Wolves when he made 19 appearances, scoring three and assisting four.
Unfortunately for the young winger, his 2016/17 season did not get off to a great start. He suffered several injuries throughout the season. This meant he had little time either to go out on loan to prove himself or to earn any opportunities in Liverpool’s first team. In total Ojo made seven appearances for Liverpool’s U23 squad and two in the FA Cup. He managed three assists in those nine games.
With Ojo playing very little last season his career looked very negative. However, Ojo was selected to play for England at the U20’s World Cup. England won the full tournament and Ojo was a key part of that. He played five of England’s seven games and has now attracted the attention of a number of clubs. With Boro looking to be favourites to sign the winger he would be a great addition to Monk’s squad for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Ojo has both pace and flair to spare. This is something Boro are severally lacking in. It was also a key point Steve Gibson brought up in an interview after Middlesbrough were relegated. ‘We have a core of players who we feel are more than capable.We need to add to them, more flair, more pace’. Ojo will certainly fit that category Furthermore, Boro’s only really fast player is Adam Traore. Traore certainly has pace and flair and could be key to Middlesbrough’s success next season if they can keep hold of him. But a number of Premier League clubs including Newcastle are interested in the winger. So, with Traore likely to join a Premier League club, Ojo would be a great player to fill or add to the pace and flair Boro need.
Another reason Middlesbrough should sign Ojo is due to their shortage of attackers. Boro are especially lacking in the left wing area, a position which Ojo plays the most. Viktor Fischer has already departed Boro for Mainz. While Downing, the Teessider’s only remaining left midfielder has been told he is not wanted by Monk. Therefore, Middlesbrough are in desperate need of more wingers so signing Ojo is a must.
It has been reported that Klopp does not want to loan Ojo out until he has assessed him in preseason. So, Boro may have to wait a few weeks before the deal can be done. This should not affect Middlesbrough signing him, however. Because with Liverpool recently signing Roma winger Mohamed Salah and being heavily linked with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it’s unlikely Ojo will get any game time in Liverpool’s first team next season. This suggests a loan move will be the best option for the winger and Middlesbrough would be the best place for him. He would certainly be a first team player for Monk. This would allow him to prove to Klopp how good he is while also helping Boro back to the Premier League.
Overall, Ojo to Middlesbrough is a must signing for both parties. For Middlesbrough, it would add much-needed pace and flair to their somewhat weak attack. For Ojo and Liverpool, it would give the winger some much needed first team football that he is unlikely to get at Liverpool next season.
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