Who impressed and who underperformed at Middlesbrough during a mixed 2020/21 campaign for Neil Warnock's side

Middlesbrough’s 2020/21 season was a mixed campaign as Neil Warnock’s side finished 10th in the Championship.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 12:35 pm
Marc Bola of Middlesbrough celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Reading.

The Teessiders have made significant improvements since last year but endured a frustrating end to the season as key players picked up injuries and performances dropped off.

Warnock has heaped praise on a core group of players at the club who he hopes he can build around when the squad returns for pre-season training in June.

Yet there’s no doubt some players have underperformed over the course of the campaign.

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The Fulham loanee was a vocal presence between the sticks but made too many costly errors as the campaign progressed. 5

Boro have made several new signings over the last 12 months, with Grant Hall, Marcus Bettinelli, Sam Morsy and Chuba Akpom joining in the summer transfer window.

Duncan Watmore, Darnell Fisher, Yannick Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing also arrived on Teesside later in the campaign.

Our Boro writer Joe Nicholson has rated every player’s performances based on their individual displays and overall contribution to the side this season.

Didn't do badly in the games he played but didn't look totally convincing between the sticks. 6
After an injury-hit 2019/20 season, the defender took his game to another level this campaign. Dijksteel performed well on the right of a back three and at right-back. Unfortunately, an ankle injury curtailed his season. 7.5
It was a frustrating first half of the season for the centre-back who suffered multiple injury setbacks. But after returning to the first team in February, Hall was excellent in the heart of the Teessiders' defence, which is a testament to his character and determination to get back. 7
Warnock has consistently praised the 23-year-old centre-back who has been at the heart of Boro's defence for most of the campaign. Fry has looked back to his best this season and been a commanding figure at the back. 8
The Northern Ireland international is the only outfield player who started every league game. McNair looked most comfortable in a back three and also impressed when he was moved into midfield. 8
After arriving in January from Preston, the 26-year-old right-back made an decent start to his Boro career before an injury issue caused him to miss the end of the season. 6
After being sent out to Blackpool on loan last season, the 23-year-old has become Boro's first-choice left back this season and performed consistently throughout the campaign. 7.5
At the start of the season Spence was Boro's No 1 right-back but has struggled to keep his place. The 20-year-old still has time on his side but will hope to find more consistency next term. 5
The left-back who excelled last season and looked determined to take his chance but it hasn't worked out for the 22-year-old this term. Warnock has played Coulson in different positions but the game has often passed him by. 5
Produced some decent performances but mostly off the bench. Slipped down the pecking order when new players arrived in January. 6.5
Signed as a holding midfielder from Wigan, the 29-year-old has also shown his offensive qualities by contributing with five assists. Morsy's ability to break up play and read the game has proved valuable. His season was also cut short by injury. 7
Despite some injury setbacks, Tavernier has enjoyed his best Boro season so far. The Teessiders have missed his energy when he's been out of the side but he will hope to add more goals and assists. 7.5
Wing had to wait until November to make his first league start of the season. Despite an impressive performance in a 4-1 win at Birmingham, the midfielder's lack of game time led to a loan move to Rotherham in January. 5
Things looked like they were just starting to click for Browne after he played a key role in Boro's 3-1 win at Wycombe. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old was ruled out for the rest of the season a week later after he was stretchered off in the FA Cup match at Brentford. 5
After an early injury setback we started to see Bolasie's quality towards the end of the campaign. The winger ended the season with three goals and four assists. 7
Back in midfield after switching positions last term. Howson has been Boro's No 1 option in the holding midfield role and was made club captain in February. His performances tailed off a bit towards the end of the campaign. 7.5
After arriving in January, the winger still looked rusty despite a few flashes of his ability. 5
A player who Warnock was desperate to sign on loan from Fulham in January. Kebano scored on his second appearance for the Teessiders at Derby and did give the side more creativity. 7
The Northern Ireland international was a regular starter at the beginning of the campaign and performed well in a box-to-box midfield role. His performances dipped in the second half of the campaign but he still registered six goals and four assists overall. 7
We saw flashes of Assombalonga's ability in games at Birmingham and Nottingham Forest but they were few and far between. Scoring just five goals in 31 league appearances marked a hugely disappointing campaign.
After a promising start, scoring in his first two Boro appearances, Akpom struggled in his first season at the club. The 25-year-old didn't appear to suit the Teessiders' system and finished with five goals in 38 games. 5
This looked like a season where we could see the best of Fletcher who was Boro's top scorer last season. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury has kept the striker sidelined for most of the campaign while he chose not to sign a new deal. 5
After signing a short-term deal at Boro in November, Watmore made a blistering start, scoring braces against Swansea and Millwall. The forward finished as Boro's top scorer with nine goals. 7.5