Middlesbrough looking abroad for free agent defender as Neil Warnock reveals transfer situation

Neil Warnock says Middlesbrough are looking abroad to sign another left-sided defender as a free agent.

By Joe Nicholson
Friday, 10th September 2021, 11:01 am

Boro were looking to strengthen their left side of defence in the summer transfer window, as the club wanted to provide more cover for Marc Bola.

Experienced defender Lee Peltier, who predominantly plays as a right-back, can play across the back four, yet Warnock would like to sign another option.

“We were close last week to securing a left-sided lad,” said Warnock when asked about the prospect of signing free agents. “I have to get another left-sided lad in if I can defensive-wise.

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock.

“We missed out on that and financially it was a bit too much for us so we just have to keep looking.

“There are players out there and it’s not a desperate situation because Lee Peltier has done very well on the left side for me.

“I’m quite happy with that but a natural left footer always helps.

“I wouldn’t want to play Pelts in a five because he struggles to get to the halfway line and back at his age but as a back four he’s okay.”

When asked by the Mail if Boro are only looking at left-sided defenders in the free agent market, Warnock added: “We are just looking for a left-sided player, ideally someone who could play left-back or left centre-half.

“Now we are having to look abroad but we won’t bring anybody in for the sake of it, we missed out on a player last week and we have made a few offers for players and they have gone elsewhere.

“It’s difficult because when Marc is fit you are asking someone to come as back-up.

“With having doubts about Marc’s fitness it made us want to look a little bit more for that type of player.”

Bola didn’t start Boro’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn last time out due to an injury but is expected to be available for Saturday’s game against Coventry.

Against Blackburn, Isaiah Jones operated as a wing-back, while Marcus Tavernier can play in the same role.

“We have options for wing-backs,” added Warnock. Isaiah did it against Blackburn and Tav has done it before. I just like Tav’s energy anywhere me. He’d play full-back for me if I asked him to.”

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