Middlesbrough have sealed a move for Huddersfield Town defender Martin Cranie on the transfer deadline day. According to Sky Sports, the Boro have secured the services of the Terriers center-back for an undisclosed fee. The 31-year-old featured on a regular basis in David Wagner’s first-team in the second half of last season, helping the Yorkshire club earn a promotion to the Premier League, but has played in just three Premier League matches in this campaign.
Cranie’s contract with the Terriers was set to expire at the end of the current campaign so the Premier League club has decided to move him on before they lost his services for free in the summer. The Yeovil born defender is highly versatile and can play in a number of different positions across the backline. He can operate as a right-back or in the middle of the defense which will make him an ideal asset under Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis going into the second half of their campaign.
Cranie joins Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic, who will spend the remainder of the campaign on loan at Boro. David Wagner’s side secured the services of AS Monaco defender Terence Kongolo on loan for the rest of the season earlier in the January transfer window.
When asked to reflect on Cranie’s departure, David Wagner was quoted to have said, “Given the recent arrival of Terence Kongolo and the return to fitness of both Michael Hefele and Jon Gorenc Stankovic, Martin’s opportunities at the club have become limited.
“Martin was a big part of the squad during the promotion-winning season and this is a good opportunity for him to go and play regular football.”
Middlesbrough are currently in 8th place in the English Championship with a total tally of 45 points after 29 league matches. They are just three points behind sixth-placed Fulham, who occupy the final playoff spot. The addition of an experienced defender like Cranie to Tony Pulis’ backline will undoubtedly bolster their defensive options going into the second half of their campaign. The 31-year-old comes in with a wealth of experience in English football and has all the qualities that the current Boro team requires to make a late push for a playoff spot.
At 31, Cranie still has a few good years left in him to play at a high level which the Boro would now look to utilize in the coming years. It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of Cranie and whether his move to Middlesbrough will turn out to be a success or a bust.
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