After a disappointing season, Middlesbrough now find themselves relegated just one year after being promoted back to the Premier League. There are several reasons for this such as poor recruitment, a lack of goals and a failure to replace Karanka. However, that is behind Boro now and they most now focus on securing promotion back to the Premier League.
Last time Middlesbrough went down was in 2009. Last time they went down then it took them seven years to finally win promotion back to the Premier League. Something they will be looking to avoid this time around.
Since Middlesbrough’s relegation was confirmed Chairman Steve Gibson told reporters that, ‘The club is well run and we’re in a good financial state so we will have more resources going into next season than any other Championship club…We will smash the league next year. We want to go back up as champions.’
With Gibson claiming Middlesbrough have excellent resources and want to smash the league next season, here are three players Middlesbrough should sign to smash the Championship and return to the top flight next year.
Tammy Abraham (loan)
Tammy Abraham is a striker whose current parent club is Chelsea. While Abraham has not made an appearance for Chelsea’s main team, the 19-year-old certainly lit up the Championship last season.
The striker spent all of the last season on loan at Championship side Bristol City. Throughout last season Abraham made 48 appearances in all competitions for Bristol. In those 48 games, he scored 26 goals and got 4 assists. This is a very impressive return for any Championship striker. But what is also worth bearing in mind is that Abraham is only 19 years old. So, to score 26 goals in a season is some achievement for a 19-year-old. Furthermore, with all due respect, Bristol City are not exactly the best Championship side you will see. So, for a 19-year-old to go into an average side and score 26 goals is hugely impressive.
With Alvaro Negredo leaving Boro, Abraham could be exactly the striker Boro need to secure promotion back to the Premier League. Although Chelsea will not sell Abraham anytime soon, a season long loan would be sufficient in helping Boro achieve their goals.
Fernando Forestieri is an Italian central attacking midfielder/ striker who currently plays for Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship. The Italian moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 2015 from Watford and has been a key part of the club since.
Last season alone, Forestieri made 35 Championship appearances scoring 12 and assisting 6. Furthermore, this season Wednesday finished 4th in the league. However, they lost in the play-off semi-final against Huddersfield on penalties. This is the second season in a row Sheffield Wednesday have lost in the playoffs after losing to Hull City in the final last year. Therefore, Forestieri may now be looking for a new challenge as it seems Wednesday have come as far as they can. So, with Boro just relegated and looking to go straight back up, the Italian playmaker may be interested in trying to secure promotion with a team with larger finances and more high-quality players.
Also, as Gaston Ramirez looks set to be leaving Middlesbrough, Forestieri could be a perfect replacement for him.
With Ben Gibson most likely to leave Boro in the summer they will need to strengthen their defence. A man who would be a great addition to the Boro squad next year is Tomas Kalas.
Kalas is currently signed for Chelsea but has spent several years out on loan. The defender has even spent time at Middlesbrough helping them secure promotion in the 2015/16 season. Kalas spent last season on loan at Fulham where he managed to help them earn a playoff spot. Unfortunately for them, they lost in the semi-final to Reading.
But, this shows that Kalas is clearly a solid Championship defender. Because he has not only helped Boro win promotion last time out but also helped guide Fulham to a playoff spot this season. Furthermore, Kalas can play both centre defence and right back. This would be extremely helpful for Boro. Especially given that this past season defenders Chambers, Friend and Fabio have all suffered significant injuries. This left Boro short at the fullback position for much of the season. Stewart Downing even had to fill in there some games. But if Middlesbrough were to sign Kalas he would be not only a solid centre-back but also a solid right back.
Although the 24-year-old is currently signed with Chelsea he does not look likely to be in their starting XI anytime soon. So, a decent bid from Boro could lure Chelsea into selling the defender.
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