Why Marvin Johnson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Jordan Archer haven't been offered new deals at Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough have announced their retained list ahead of the 2021/22 season – with a handful of first-team players set to depart.
It has been known for some time that striker duo Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher will both leave the club this summer following the end of their four-year contracts.
It’s also been confirmed that goalkeeper Jordan Archer, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Marvin Johnson won’t be offered new deals and are set to become free agents.
Johnson’s departure may surprise a few Boro supporters after the 30-year-old made 42 league appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
Yet most of the winger’s game time came after coming off the bench, while Johnson dropped down the pecking order following the arrivals of Yannick Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano and Mendez-Laing in January.
Warnock spoke to each player individually at the end of the season and told Johnson he couldn’t guarantee the player regular game time, and that he needed to go out and play.
It means Boro will be looking to sign new wide players after Kebano and Bolasie’s loan spells came to an end.
Kebano still has a year left on his contract at Fulham so won’t be available for another loan move.
Boro were interested in re-signing Bolasie, who is available on a free transfer, yet the 32-year-old would have to take a significant wage cut after leaving Premier League club Everton.
Mendez-Laing would also have to sign on reduced terms if he was to return to the Riverside, after joining Boro on a free transfer earlier this year.
Warnock was keen to give the 29-year-old, who he worked with at Cardiff, a pre-season to prove his fitness and there is still a chance he could return to the Riverside.
Archer also joined Boro on a short-term deal in January and made five league appearances at the end of the campaign.
The 28-year-old did save a penalty at Luton, yet Warnock feels there are better goalkeeping options available and has already moved quickly to sign Joe Lumley from QPR.
Lumley will officially join Boro when his Rangers contract expires at the end of June.
Under-23 players Tyrone O’Neill, Cole Kiernan and Tyler Williams have also been released, as well as scholars George Waites and Andrew Wilson.