Saturday, August 13, 2022

Middlesbrough Join Race For In-Demand Everton Left-Back: Should They Press Ahead For A Deal?

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Middlesbrough have  entered the race to sign Everton full-back Brendan Galloway on a season-long loan after their apparent injury crisis intensified over the weekend. Newcastle United have been interested in the youngster for a long time and according to reports, Rafa Benitez has had talks with his Evertonian counterpart over a deal. But Middlesbrough have swung into the action at the last minute and are now willing to match the loan terms and conditions.

Middlesbrough are back in the top flight of English football after a 7-year long hiatus. There were many concerns about the long-term survival prospects of the team with the unbelievable level of competition in the Premier League. Karanka had set an initial target of promotion and after achieving that he has set his eyes on continued success for the club. Middlesbrough’s transfer policy this season has caught everyone by surprise. They have been one of the busiest teams in the League in terms of transfers and were belatedly overshadowed by the Manchester clubs.

The team looked in good shape as they stepped out on the field to face Stoke City on the opening day of the new season. They started off well and took a shock lead and controlled the game. But Stoke utilised their experience and depended upon their marquee player Shaqiri to conjure up a moment of magic thus finishing the game 1-1. While Boro fans would have been relatively happy with the score line, Karanka has identified the areas he needs to build upon and the issues that need addressing. Middlesbrough looked tired towards the end and most of their players ran out of steam with the intensive defensive work. An injury to new summer recruit Marten De Roon has rendered them extremely thin in the central midfield reserves. And on top of that, they already have defensive issues to deal with.

Karanka will be aware of the need to add depth and youth to the side if they are to mount a serious survival challenge and beyond. He has identified Galloway as the player who would provide competition to their stand-in captain Friend.

 ABOUT THE PLAYER

Galloway joined MK Dons after having moved from Zimbabwe at the age of 11. He became their youngest debutant ever after making his first appearance at the age of 15. The 20-year old moved to Everton in 2014 for an undisclosed fee and spent a considerable period of time playing for the Reserves before he got the chance to make his senior team bow.

The 6’1 defender is known to be comfortable playing at centre-back although his primary position is at left-back. He has the ability to run all day implying his stamina and work-rate. He has the physical attributes required of a modern full-back. He can stay on his feet, defend one-on-one and puts in clean tackles in his own half. He will be welcome at Middlesbrough and will challenge for a role in the first team regularly.

But Boro faces a major roadblock in the fact that Everton are supposedly hesitant in loaning him out to a direct rival in the league, though Premier League exposure would have done him no harm. Well, Boro are certainly in the thick of it now and will hope the player’s preference to play in the Premier League sways the decision their way.

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