Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate explains how his mindset has changed following Liverpool scouting role

The days when Middlesbrough can spend £5-10million on a big-money signing are gone according to head coach Jonathan Woodgate, who admitted he must consider the financial costs when scouting for new talent.

Saturday, 14th September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 14th September 2019, 8:00 am
Jonathan Woodgate spent eight months as a scout at Liverpool.
Jonathan Woodgate spent eight months as a scout at Liverpool.

Ahead of today’s Championship meeting with Reading at the Riverside, Woodgate revealed that he watched Royals striker George Puscas at the European Under-21 Championships in the summer, before the frontman made a reported £7.5million switch to Berkshire.

“I went to the game, England vs Romania, I was watching a few players from Romania,” said Woodgate in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday. “I saw Puscas straight away, he was on loan last year at Palermo from Inter Milan, a really top player.

“To bring him here we'd have had to spend a lot of money. We couldn't do that type of deal. Reading done it, fair play.”

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Understandably, Woodgate appears to have a big say in the players Boro do bring in. Summer signings Anfernee Dijksteel, Marc Bola and Marcus Browne were all on his PowerPoint presentation when the former defender was applying to take charge at the Riverside.

Woodgate also has previous experience when it comes to recruitment after spending eight months as a scout at Liverpool during the 2016/17 season.

But, when he’s looking for players who can perform at Championship level, Boro’s head coach is scoring a different market.

“If I’m watching a player and I say to someone what does he earn in a week and they say blah, blah, I’ll say why am I looking at him,” added Woodgate.

“You have to get the picture before you start watching people because I can be watching someone on a vast amount of money and I’m wasting my time.

“It’s like when I was at Liverpool doing the eight months of recruitment, which I loved, and it was a big learning curve, they are going to have a different budget to Middlesbrough.

“Why would I go and watch a player at Athletic Bilbao, you’ve got to pay top dollar for them. Why would Middlesbrough go and watch someone on that amount of money. You have your boundaries.”