It’s a time of transition and change and Middlesbrough at present, with the club looking to dust themselves down and go again in their quest for promotion next term.
The North East club looked to be bankers to finish in the play-offs last term, but a dismal run of six straight league defeats erased any chance of finishing in the top six.
And, after another disappointing season culminating in Championship football once again, Tony Pulis was relieved of duties at the Riverside.
Whoever comes in to replace the 61-year-old will be looking to get rid of the deadwood and stamp their own authority on the club, but they will also be looking to keep hold of the key players too.
Marcus Tavernier certainly fits the bill of being a key player for Boro, but after an impressive season last time out, Premier League side Watford and Aston Villa are both after the 20-year-old, according to reports from the Northern Echo.
Here, we take a look at whether he’d be able to cut it in the top-flight and be a key player for either side…
Last season, in 20 Championship appearances, Tavernier scored three goals and produced one assist for Tony Pulis’ side. The winger also scored another goal and added a further assist in cup competitions.
Those strikes came from an average of 0.7 shots per game, with the winger also causing opposition defences problems by completing 0.7 dribbles per game.
The attacker’s link-up play was also impressive, accruing a pass success rate of 72.3% in the league, but he will have been hoping to be more involved with goals, completing just 0.5 key passes per game.
For the large part, Pulis deployed a flat five-man midfield last season, especially in the latter stages of the campaign, which meant that it was hard for Tavernier to work his magic in the final third of the pitch.
The left midfield role was focused mainly on working hard at going both backwards and forwards, which is a responsibility that Tavernier is yet to get to grips with.
But going forward, the winger is very fast and tricky, and his pace would fit right into the high tempo of the Premier League…