Why Middlesbrough should rekindle their interest in Jonas Knudsen
According to a report from the Northern Echo, Middlesbrough were interested in Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen in the summer. However, a move never materialised and he stayed with Ipswich.
Jonas Knudsen, 26, is in the final year of his current deal with Ipswich and with no talks over a new deal taking place yet, he could leave the Championship club on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Ideally, Ipswich would be reluctant to lose one of their star players on a free transfer in the summer of 2019. That opens up the prospect of them cashing in on Jonas Knudsen in January. As things stand, should Middlesbrough rekindle their interest in the left-back?
Without any doubts, they should. Middlesbrough were on the lookout for a new left-back after Fabio da Silva completed a permanent move to French outfit Nantes ahead of the start of the season.
That saw the Teesside-based club sign Sam McQueen on a season-long loan from Southampton in the summer but he is unlikely to play again this season after rupturing his cruciate ligaments in the League Cup win over Crystal Palace last month.
With McQueen out of the frame for Middlesbrough, Tony Pulis has only George Friend as a specialist left-back in his squad. And since Friend’s performances haven’t been up to his usual standards this season and given the fact that he’ll turn 32 in 2019, signing Jonas Knudsen in January would make perfect sense for Boro.
Knudsen is closing in on 150 appearances for the Blues, having arrived from Esbjerg in 2015. He went to the World Cup back in the summer and has earned six caps for Denmark till date. And despite being a solid performer in the Championship over the last few years, Ipswich are reluctant to offer him a new deal.
The Dane has gained plenty of Championship experience, having been in England for well over three years now. An aggressive left-back, Knudsen contributes equally to both the defence and the attack. He strikes a perfect balance between the attacking and defensive side of his game, while he has shown a sound positional sense and tactical awareness too.
A good reader of the game, Knudsen is very quick and agile that he hardly gives the attackers a yard of space to create a chance. While Ipswich are struggling in the Championship, he has impressed with his performances and has the international pedigree as well.
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To put things into perspective, Middlesbrough would bag a coup if they manage to sign Knudsen in January. Boro need another quality left-back to provide cover and competition to George Friend and Knudsen could be that player.