Middlesbrough Opinion: Sly can add some much-needed pace to Boro
Middlesbrough’s season can be very effectively described as ‘mixed bag’ because there are still multiple concerns which need to be addressed in the squad for them to really hit their peak performance capacity.
Presently in a very comfortable yet respectable 5th place just 3 points behind West Brom who have also played a game more, Boro fans still have a reason to be hopeful of making it to the automatic promotion spots before the end of the campaign.
With 6th-placed Bristol City just 4 points behind Boro at this moment in time, Tony Pulis will be hoping that his players are able to do enough in their push for Premier League action. With just 7 points between them and Sheffield United, added to the fact that Boro have a game in hand, this title race could go down to the wire.
Given their current situation, for this rather steep task to be completed by this Boro side, there is an urgent need for attacking reinforcements and given that the transfer window is currently shut, they have to wait until the end of the season to make any signings.
A quick look at the Boro squad gives a clear picture about the lack of creativity in this side. For a team with four centre-forwards and seven central midfielders, the number of winger options they have is simply unacceptable.
Out-of-form Rajiv Van La Parra and a 34-year-old Stuart Downing are currently their only options to be utilised on the flanks. This is a real area of concern and one that Tony Pulis should address in the summer or risk falling further down the table next season.
The addition of a couple of pacy wingers is certainly a necessity at Boro given their relatively lofty ambitions. With a quality striker like Britt Assombalonga available up front to score goals, the player they should bring in is FC Ufa winger Sly.
Sly is a Nigerian winger who came through the FC Midtjylland academy. His pace and sheer work rate are his high points while his ability to put some delectable crosses into box also makes him a good prospect for Tony Pulis.
His movement off the ball is excellent and while he is capable of dribbling with the ball as well, he often displays his unselfishness in front of goal. Almost impossible to stop once in full flight, Sly’s current season with Russian side Ufa has seen him play 16 times, scoring 3 and assisting 2.
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His addition will certainly be an injection of pace into this slow Boro side who are desperately calling out for some refreshing changes. Signing Sly can be the first step towards their eventual return to the English top-flight.