Head coach Aitor Karanka has spoken of his “privilege” of bringing Victor Valdes to Middlesbrough.
But the arrival of the former Spain and Barcelona goalkeeper could spell trouble for Boro’s clean-sheet king Dimi Konstantopoulos.
He knows why he is here and he is coming to add to what we haveAITOR KARANKA
The giant Greek, an adopted Poolie, played a key role in Boro’s promotion to the Premier League.
Big Dimi kept an incredible 22 clean sheets for Boro last year as the last line of defence for the Teessiders.
On the face of it, Konstantopoulos would be trhe first name on the team-sheet and not just because he’s the goalie.
But it’s hard to imagine Karanka bringing in a keeper of Valdes’s quality to not start him in the top flight.
Ex-Man United man Valdes has winners medals galore in his collection in every competition for club AND country.
The 34-year-old made over 500 appearances for Barcelona in a 13-year career in which he won the Champions League three times and LaLiga six times.
He also picked up winners’ medals for Spain at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
However, Valdes had a frustrating time at Manchester United, his opportunities blocked by injuries and the form of compatriot David de Gea.
He departed Old Trafford earlier this year having made just two competitive appearances and spent the second half of last season on loan at Standard Liege.
But Karanka is thrilled with his fifth summer capture after Viktor Fischer, Bernardo Espinosa, Marten de Roon and Jordan McGhee
“You can’t imagine how delighted I am because it’s not usual to bring players like him to recently promoted teams,” Karanka told mfc.co.uk.
“I’m really pleased because he is really committed.
“All the conversations we’ve had he knows why he is here and he is coming to add to what we have.
“He knows how strong this group is.
“It’s a privilege for us to be able to bring a player like this.”