The January transfer window is not far away and for Middlesbrough it’s essential that they’re ready.
The Teessiders have had a torrid season so far and sit in 20th place in the Championship after picking up just 17 points from 19 games so far.
Add into that the number of injured players on the sidelines and you start to see why January needs to go well at the Riverside Stadium.
Jonathan Woodgate’s side have been linked with a move for Northampton Town goalkeeper David Cornell, according to Football Insider.
The 28-year-old has kept eight clean sheets in 18 appearances for the Cobblers who sit in sixth place in League Two.
Cornell’s contract expires next summer and this has reportedly sparked interest from Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town.
But how likely is a move to materialise? We take a look at why this transfer rumour may not be a top priority for the Teessiders.
Competition between the sticks
While Middlesbrough do need to strengthen, I wouldn’t say that the need for a goalkeeper is particularly high.
Darren Randolph is undoubtedly number one and Aynsley Pears has already shown that he’s capable of stepping up as a long-term replacement for Randolph if he was to move on.
The only issue would be is if Boro are preparing for their number one to leave this month, meaning that they are eyeing up cost-effective options for January.
Not fitting the brief of Middlesbrough’s transfer model
The club were very clear over the summer when they spoke of their desire to sign undervalued players who were in the upward curve of their career.
While Cornell is only 28 years of age, I’m not sure he quite fits the brief.
Yes, he could be available for a cut-price fee but whether he’d be the most saleable asset in the future, I’m not sure.
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The need to strengthen elsewhere
Let’s be honest, Middlesbrough have much bigger fish to fry than signing a goalkeeper.
The lack of depth in defence, midfield and up front is alarming at best, and to be frank, the spot between the sticks is probably where the club look most secure.
Funds will be limited and the club would be better served using it to strengthen the outfield positions.