Ex-Leeds United and Cardiff City man set to join Middlesbrough confirms Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock has confirmed Sol Bamba will stay at Middlesbrough this season – with the defender set to take on a player/coaching role.

By Joe Nicholson
Friday, 6th August 2021, 12:06 pm

Bamba started training with Boro last month to try and build up his fitness following a battle with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.

The 36-year-old has played under Warnock at Leeds and Cardiff, and captained the Bluebirds to promotion in 2018.

Bamba came off the bench for Boro during a pre-season friendly against Rotherham last week and is expected to be offered a deal at the Riverside.

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Neil Warnock and Sol Bamba at Cardiff City.

While the player’s leadership qualities are obvious, the centre-back can also provide cover for Grant Hall and Dael Fry at the back.

When asked about Bamba ahead of Boro’s Championship opener against Fulham, Warnock said: “I think you’ve only got to look at him when he played against Rotherham and I think our lads thought he was outstanding against Rotherham.

“He’s such a keen lad and when we went to Cornwall he helped Craig Liddle with the under-18s and 23s and was very, very good. They were very impressed with him.

“That’s where I see him as a role long term. I think he’s an excellent coach with the youngsters and always giving advice, never shuts up.

“I think it’s an opportunity for him and if he can contribute on the field of play we have to think about that because he does give us another option, for example when I took Grant and Dael off he slotted in at centre-half and did well for me at Rotherham.

“I never thought he would get back to this sort of fitness if I’m honest when I was at Cardiff. All credit to him, he’s done remarkably well by working hard and overcoming things.

“I think he’s got things to prove and I think he was probably a little bit disappointed to leave Cardiff. We just play it by ear at the moment.

Asked if Bamba will be part of the Boro set-up in some form, Warnock replied: “He will be in some capacity, unless he goes somewhere else.”

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