Boro hero Dimi Konstantopoulos under threat after Brad Guzan signing
Dimi Konstantopoulos's days at Middlesbrough could be numbered after Aitor Karanka made Brad Guzan his ninth summer signing.
Guzan is the second international keeper the head coach has brought to the Premier League new boys after Barcelona legend Victor Valdes.
The 31-year-old USA stopper signed a two-year contract yesterday with Boro after ending his Aston Villa career.
Ironically, Guzan could make his Boro debut against his former club this afternoon, subject to his international clearance coming through in time.
Guzan, who boasts a half-century of caps for America, will be looking to challenge big summer signing, Valdes, for the number one spot.
Boro already had two senior goalies on their books – Konstantopoulos and Tomas Mejias.
Big Dimi was one of the key figures in Boro’s promotion back to the Premier League, proving a formidable last line of defence, keeping the small matter of 22 clean sheets.
Fans of the Greek will be aghast given his previous heroics. Despite his advancing years – he will be 38 later this year – and the fact he has no Premier experience, the majority of pundits and supporters feel he warranted a chance in the top flight.
However, while Karanka believes in competition and having two players battling it out per position, it would appear that the old adage ‘two’s company and three’s a crowd’ fits at the keeper situation at the Riverside. Or four in the case of Boro.
The head coach is NOT going to sign keepers of the calibre and reputation of Valdes and Guzan and make one of them third choice.
It means the end of the road for either Dimi or Mejias, with a loan or permanent move for one and training ground role for the other.
Which is where, ironically, Konstantopoulos began his Boro career back in the summer of 2013.
He was rumoured to be returning to former club, Hartlepool United, his hometown club, when Boro brought him in as back up to Jason Steele and Jayson Leutwiler.
But the 2007 Pools promotion hero worked his way up the rankings and when Mejias made a rocky start to the 14-15 season, Dimi gained the top spot and has retained it ever since.
Long before the arrival of Guzan, Dimi’s ‘other half’ Lisa Konstantopoulos took to Twitter to spell out her hubby’s achievements: 44 clean sheets, 92% save per shot ratio, 100% claim success, fewest goals conceded.
“And some say he’s not good enough,” she wrote.