Joe Bryan, Karl Darlow to sign for Middlesbrough, Traore sold: Tony Pulis’ ideal transfer window
Middlesbrough have recently parted company with Garry Monk and replaced him with former Stoke and West Brom manager Tony Pulis, a move the Boro board hopes will get them over the promotion line given the quality of the squad at the new manager’s disposal.
Given the move, however, Boro fans should not expect too much in the way of more attractive, attacking football but so long as it gets them back into the Premier League, I’m sure the fans won’t mind.
To achieve this, Boro need more than organisation and in fact, would love a few new faces in the squad. How many come in is partly up to Pulis of course, though the names linked with the club have not been plentiful. Bobby Reid of Bristol City is on the radar but is unlikely to be sold to a promotion rival, if at all.
His teammate Joe Bryan, however, is, even more, sought after, and although the deal seems unlikely, it would be a tremendous one for Boro to complete as he looks every inch a Premier League player regardless of whether he is in the midfield or playing as an attacking left-back.
Last summer, boss Garry Monk did all he could in order to prize Championship winner Karl Darlow away from near neighbours Newcastle United, but could not manage it, settling for another player in the end. But that deal is one which could yet be resurrected and with Darlow being given limited chances now at Newcastle and their boss Rafa Benitez chasing another ‘keeper, he looks like a realistic target.
Boro’s best central defender, England hopeful Ben Gibson, was pursued for most of the summer by West Bromwich Albion and he may once again ask to leave, in order to help his international chances. However, given that the West Brom manager then is his club manager now (Pulis), I’m sure the coach will do all he can to convince Gibson to stick around.
Another academy product being coveted is Marcus Tavernier, though it would be a big mistake for Boro to look to cash in on him this early, as he has made only fleeting appearances and wouldn’t command much of a fee. With that in mind, they should allow Tavernier more pitch time when they can and help him develop his talent fully, which may see him become a Premier League player before long.
To raise funds, it is easy to see Pulis not being overly impressed by the pace and the lack of finish power presented by Adama Traore, who could still interest one or two at the top level.
In: Joe Bryan (Bristol City), Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)
Out: Adama Traore
Keep: Marcus Tavernier, Ben Gibson