Jonathan Woodgate explains Manchester City connections and transfer planning after January breakthrough
Jonathan Woodgate hopes Middlesbrough can build relationships with Premier League clubs to help them in the transfer market.
The Teessiders have been quick out of the blocks in the January window, signing Manchester City duo Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha on loan until the end of the season.
Both players were on Middlesbrough’s radar in the summer, yet Woodgate has been keeping a close eye on potential targets since the start of the campaign.
The Boro boss has connections at City including academy director Jason Wilcox – a former team-mate at Leeds United.
Yet Woodgate believes the most important factor in this week’s loan deals was finding the right fit – for both the players and the club.
“It’s not about having a connection, it’s about the right fit and the two players fit into what we want,” said Woodgate when asked about his relationship with City.
“I know Brian Kidd there, I know Jason Wilcox, I know a few of them but I met up with the sporting director about a month ago.
“I thought it was important to do a lot of ground work and try to get these players over the line as soon as possible.”
Woodgate also knows what a big impact loan signings can make in the Championship following Derby’s good use of market last season.
“I think getting the right club is the important thing, like the three lads at Derby did, Harry Wilson, Mason Mount and (Fikayo) Tomori, they found the right club with the right manager.
“Hopefully that works for us as well, we have the right club and the right manager who gives them a platform to go out and produce the goods and gives them responsibility on the pitch.”
Woodgate also believes Roberts and Nmecha had options to go elsewhere, but is delighted they chose Boro over other clubs.
“I am sure Patrick Roberts and Lucas had untold options but they chose to come to Middlesbrough,” added Woodgate. “Hopefully we can build relationships like that with all different clubs.”