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A much-needed move – This 22-year-old star is just what Middlesbrough needed to add steel to their defence

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Why Anfernee Dijksteel is a smart signing from Middlesbrough

According to a report from the BBC, Middlesbrough have completed the signing of defender Anfernee Dijksteel from Championship rivals Charlton Athletic.

Anfernee Dijksteel, 22, who made 59 appearances for Charlton, signed a three-year deal with Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

The Dutchman played a key role in getting the Addicks promoted to the Championship in May and Lee Bowyer’s side were hoping to tie him down a new deal after he had entered the final year of his contract at the Valley.

But that didn’t happen and Charlton became ready to sell Dijksteel to Middlesbrough rather than losing him on a free transfer next summer.

Having missed out on a playoff spot by a single point last season, Middlesbrough sacked Tony Pulis and replaced him with Jonathan Woodgate.

The Riversiders have been relatively quiet in beefing up their squad in the ongoing transfer window, with the likes Marcus Browne, Marc Bola, Tomas Mejias and Anfernee Dijksteel being their only additions.

Boro’s first game of the 2019/20 campaign ended in a 3-3 draw with Luton Town. In that game, Ryan Shotton was used as a central defender and Jonny Howson was deployed at right-back. That clearly tells how the right-back area needed reinforcing ahead and why Woodgate has landed Dijksteel at the club.

A right-back by trade, Dijksteel can also play on the left, as a centre-back and in defensive midfield.

A sharp, agile and technically-gifted defender with an innate ability to pick out the target man with his accurate crossing, the Dutchman is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and is also proficient in reading the transitions in play to good effect and cutting out attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions. 

He is a solid passer of the ball and can be relied upon while defending in 1v1 situations.

Dijksteel is not only an effective defender, but he is also highly disciplined off the ball and is capable of providing a reassuring presence in the back four. He is also strong going forward and can generate attacks from deep, whilst can also be used in midfield and that is something Woodgate needs to take advantage of.

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There are a couple of weaknesses in the 22-year-old defender’s game and Woodgate would be the right manager to eradicate it from his game.


All in all, Dijksteel is a fantastic signing for Boro. The Dutchman is a promising talent and he was excellent for Charlton in League One last season.

He will be full of confidence after last season and certainly has got what it takes to make the step up to the Championship.