The Middlesbrough possibility that excites Neil Warnock and could impact club's transfer plans
Neil Warnock says his Middlesbrough side will probably have to adapt to different systems next season.
The Boro boss wants to sign around eight or nine new players this summer, including three new strikers to bolster his attacking options.
Warnock is looking to sign a natural centre forward who can lead the line and hold the ball up, as well as reaching double figures in the goalscoring department.
The Teessiders will also be looking at wide players they could sign ahead of next season, with Yannick Bolasie and Neeskens Kebano nearing the end of their loan deals, while Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing will be out of contract.
“I am looking at wide players as well, I do think they have to be versatile in systems,” Warnock told the Mail.
“I like the 5-3-2, but when I watched Chelsea the other night, they were so fantastic playing a 5-2-3, that excites me as well.
“I do know we can play 4-3-3 but we haven’t got the striker at the moment to play 4-3-3.
“Looking at all sorts of things they can change your mind on your tactics, depending on who you get through the door really.”
Boro have operated in several different systems this season, after Warnock said at the start of the campaign he’d prefer to play with a 4-3-3.
Playing with a back three has suited players like Paddy McNair, who has excelled as a right-sided centre-back, a position where he can step out with the ball from the back.
The Northern Ireland international has also performed well in midfield, a position he could return to if the likes of Dael Fry, Grant Hall and Anfernee Dijksteel are all available.
“I always like Paddy at the back but without a shadow of a doubt he can play in there,” added Warnock, when asked about McNair playing in midfield.
“He’s probably as good as most players in this division in there, I just think he’s outstanding at the back. I think he just gives us that confidence.
“I can’t say any more or you’ll think he’s my lad again. I don’t want Dijksteel getting jealous. I think there’s more to come from him because I think he can do more.”