Middlesbrough are making progress in the transfer market but still need a replacement for Adama Traore

Aside from the trip to Millwall, Middlesbrough have barely put a foot wrong on the pitch this season - and now the club are finally making progress off it.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 6:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 7:35 pm
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.

Tony Pulis has repeatedly stressed the need to bolster his squad before the end of the loan market on August 31, and the Boro boss has finally added Everton midfielder Mo Besic to his ranks.

The Bosnian was a popular figure during his loan spell at the Riverside last campaign and will certainly add competition for places in the middle of the park.

But, with Adam Clayton, Grant Leadbitter, Jonny Howson, academy graduate Lewis Wing and new signing Paddy McNair all available in central midfield, it is not an area where the squad is particularly weak.

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A more pressing matter is surely finding a replacement for Adama Traore following his big-money move to Wolves.

Boro have coped without the speedy Spaniard so far, taking 10 points from a possible 12 to start the new Championship season.

Even so, Pulis has been eyeing up replacements for the influential winger, and after seemingly missing out on Crystal Palace's Yannick Bolasie, who now appears to be heading for Aston Villa, Boro have been linked with Palace's Jason Puncheon and Huddersfield's Rajiv van La Parra.

Traore's departure has left Boro short of pace in wide areas, forcing Pulis to tweak his formation to get results.

In their last three league games, which have brought wins over Sheffield United, Birmingham and Bristol City, Boro have deployed a 3-5-2 formation, with Ryan Shotton and Stewart Downing playing as wing-backs.

The new system is likely to be given a severe test when Boro face Pulis' old side West Brom at the Riverside tomorrow night.

Darren Moore's team have scored 11 goals in their last two league games, including a 7-1 hammering over QPR.

When asked about the Baggies in his pre-match press conference, Pulis said: "I had a good, three years at West Brom and some happy memories.

"I left after 12 games last year and it was probably the right time. I brought Gary Megson in and I've got a lot of respect for them. They're going to be really strong this year and they've got a good squad.

"It'll be nice to see most of the players as most of them are ones that I brought in. I had Darren Moore at Portsmouth and he was my captain there. I've got a lot of respect for him and they're a good side."