Where Middlesbrough still need to strengthen in the transfer window
There’s less than a month to go until the end of this summer’s transfer window and Middlesbrough are yet to sign an outfield player.
So is there any cause for concern and when is the time to start worrying?
The Teessiders have been in this situation before, albeit with less time, when the January market slammed shut leaving former boss Tony Pulis without the pacey winger he craved.
It’s an area Boro still need to strengthen and, as the August 8 deadline draws ever closer, fans are understandably growing a little anxious.
Of course it’s important to get the right deals over the line rather than rushing into something they could regret six months down the line.
The positive environment Jonathan Woodgate is trying to build is far more important, yet there’s no denying Boro’s squad seems a little thin.
In their pre-season trip to Austria, the new head coach gave opportunities to many of the club’s young prospects – “If they’re good enough they’ll play,” said Woodgate.
Supporters will be happy to hear that, but the difference between under-23s football and England’s second tier can be vast. Bringing through too many too soon could prove damaging.
So how many new signings do Boro actually need? In Darren Randolph they arguably have the best goalkeeper in the division, with Tomas Mejias a handy number two.
Boro have capable centre-backs (one more for cover would help) and are well stocked in central midfield, while Britt Assombalonga, Ashley Fleteher, Martin Braithwaite and Rudy Gestede can all score goals in the right system.
A couple of wingers should be the priority, and Boro could also do with some back-up for full-backs Ryan Shotton and George Friend.
Woodgate is also keen to sign a new number 10, so, with just over four weeks to go, Boro are probably around five positions short.
One or two spots could be filled by the youth though it would be naive to think Boro don’t need to strengthen.
It’s not a case of wholesale changes but, if Boro are to challenge for promotion this season, the next month could be pivotal. Time is still on their side but the clock is ticking.