Two More Signings That Can Help Middlesbrough In Their Battle For Promotion
Middlesbrough will be distraught at having been relegated back to the EFL Championship. The Teessiders finished second from the bottom in the Premier League last season, which meant they had to drop back to the second tier in their first season after promotion.
Former boss Aitor Karanka got the sack in March this year, with his assistant Steve Agnew taking over for the final 11 games. Last month, Boro announced the appointment of Garry Monk as the manager, tasking him with the responsibility of leading the team back to the top-flight.
The former Leeds United and Swansea City manager hasn’t wasted a lot of time in changing things around as there has been plenty of transfer activity going on at the Riverside Stadium. The club have brought in right-back Cyrus Christie from Derby County, midfielder Jonny Howson from Norwich City and striker Martin Braithwaite from Ligue1 side Toulouse.
However, if they are to mount an immediate challenge for promotion, they will need more additions to the ranks and here are two players that Monk should look to sign at the earliest.
Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool – Loan)
The 20-year old winger is reportedly on the radar of manager Garry Monk and an approach has been made to the Premier League club over a temporary spell, with Newcastle United also reported to be keen on the youngster (Sun). With Boro winger Adama Traore continuously being linked with a move away, a new wide player will be a top priority for the club, in order to complement the likes of Stewart Downing and Christian Stuani.
Ojo may not have had the best of the seasons, as he made just 2 appearances for the Reds. The talented youngster has shown that he can make the cut at this level, during one of his loan spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the first half of the 2015/16 season, while impressing at Liverpool in the second half. He’s fast, can create, score and can prove to be a great asset for the team.
Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
The Teessiders have already had a bid rejected by Sheffield Wednesday for their goalkeeper, but reports from the Northern Echo claim that Middlesbrough have gone in with another improved bid for Westwood. Following the exits of Victor Valdes and Brad Guzan, Monk is severely short-handed in the goalkeeping department, with only Connor Ripley as a viable option.
Westwood has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers outside the Premier League since his arrival from Sunderland in 2014. The 32-year old made 43 appearances in the Championship last season, keeping 15 clean sheets as he helped the Owls finish 4th. However, he could not lead them to promotion, as the club fell short in the playoffs. With his experience in the second division and his proven calibre, Westwood could turn out to be an excellent signing for the club.