Middlesbrough will be facing a potentially vital summer transfer window as they look to help Jonathan Woodgate build a side that could be capable of competing further up the table next term.
Woodgate’s side have suffered a really challenging period since the turn of the year, with Boro’s 1-0 win at Charlton Athletic in their previous game ending a run of 11 Championship matches without a win, which saw them lift themselves out of the relegation zone.
Boro will be hoping that they can build on that during the rest of the campaign, when the football season eventually resumes following the postponement due to the coronavirus – and Patrick Roberts could be key to that with the winger, who arrived on loan from Manchester City in January, set to come back from injury.
Middlesbrough are keen on securing another loan deal for Roberts next season, with Woodgate revealing that he would be wanting to see the winger remain with the club next season, if they can manage to survive in the Championship.
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Here then, we take a look at THREE reasons why Middlesbrough should go all out to secure a move for Roberts…
Ability to help improve productivity in the final third
One of Middlesbrough’s main issues throughout the season has been their inability to both create and take enough chances in the final third of the field, with Boro managing to register just 37 league goals so far this campaign, which is the fewest in the league so far this term.
Roberts was brought to the club in January in a bid to help Boro improve their goal return, and he showed signs of being able to do that during his first few games, before he was eventually ruled out for a few weeks through injury.
That means that Roberts has not been able to have the impact that Woodgate would have been hoping for when he added him to the squad, but were Middlesbrough to ensure they stay up next this term, then the winger’s productivity could prove to be a key asset if he signed again in the summer.
Roberts’ desire to get back playing regular football
It has been a frustrating period for Roberts over the last few campaigns, with the winger having not really managed to make as many appearances as he would have been hoping for, having been sent out on loan spells to Celtic, Girona and Norwich City, before his loan at Middlesbrough.
The winger will therefore be looking to really re-start his career next season and establish himself as a regular in the starting line-up of the side he is playing for, which means he would arrive at the Riverside for his second spell determined to make a positive impression.
Were Middlesbrough to have a fully fit and motivated player with Roberts’ quality in their squad it would potentially make a real impact on them, and help them to turn around their form and challenge for promotion next term.
Middlesbrough’s need for a player to produce moments of key quality
Middlesbrough do not really have many players within their squad who you feel are capable of producing moments of individual quality during tight matches, which can help to tip the balance of games in their favour.
Roberts is a player with ability to produce a moment out of nothing, which means it will be vital that he is at the Riverside next season to help them push up the league table – and he showed during his first few appearances that he has the ability to drive forwards with the ball and commit defenders in last third.