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Go For It Garry Monk: Why Middlesbrough Should Jump At The Chance To Sign This 27-year Old

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Chris Gunter

Why Middlesbrough Should Jump At The Chance To Sign Chris Gunter From Reading

With Calum Chambers back at Arsenal and Antonio Barragan about to follow him out of the club, Middlesbrough’s right-back options are looking a little light.

It’s an area they can’t afford to overlook either, as in the modern game, full-backs are used just as much for their attacking prowess as they are for their defending abilities. Case in point Chris Gunter, who was playing as a wing-back most of last season for the attack-minded Reading and knows how to get forward to good effect.

The 27-year-old is just about reaching his peak as a player and has now had a year which encompassed playing in the European Championships for Wales as well as reaching a Wembley play-off final for Reading. He would bring great experience to the Riverside as well as some smart play. The latter is backed up by some fairly impressive stats.

Gunter’s exuberance in going forward led to him scoring once and setting up 3 goals last term in the league, though that isn’t the full story. 0.7 key passes per game is a great stat for someone who is primarily a defender and his pass completion rate of 77% would not let Boro down either.

Despite his slightly more advanced position and Reading’s penchant for throwing bodies forward, Gunter’s defensive stats manage to cut the mustard too. 1.6 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.2 blocks and 3.5 clearances per game serve to show how willing the Welsh international is to put his body on the line when it counts.

He’s definitely got a bit of everything and is someone Middlesbrough should be happy to have on their books. Reading were third only to Newcastle and Brighton last season – two of the strongest teams you will find at this level, and so could have found themselves winning this division in an average year.

Gunter was an ever-present in that strong season and is a player who could comfortably still ply his trade in the Premier League. With that in mind, he has the sort of quality and experience that Boro cannot afford to turn down if given the opportunity and signing him seems like a no-brainer to me.

Although he has let nobody down at Reading, an examination of his form and his style of play tells you he’d rather do his attacking from a proper right-back position as opposed to right wing-back position – something he would have the chance to do so under Garry Monk.