Middlesbrough have one of the best squads in the Championship as they aim for promotion this season after the disappointment of last season.
They were beaten 2-0 by Norwich in the play-off final at Wembley and there top goalscorer and Championship Player of the Year, Patrick Bamford, returned to Chelsea.
Middlesbrough attempted to rebuild in the summer as they did lose a lot of attacking talent in the shape of Tomlin, Vossen and Bamford.
In the summer they added goalscorers Christian Stuani and David Nugent. They also added big money signing Stewart Downing to their promotion pushing squad as Gibson put his money where his mouth is.
Middlesbrough started the season well building the team on the solid defensive foundations of last season, they had the best defence in the league last year and Hull are the only team with a better one this season. Ayala and Gibson have been crucial to this with the 2 young centre-backs almost unbeatable when playing together.
Middlesbrough were top and clear in January but have suffered a mini-slump recently with losses to lowly Charlton and Rotherham. This caused discontent in the squad with manager Aitor Karanka questioning if the squad really want promotion as much as he does.
The addition of prolific striker Jordan Rhodes in January has proved unsuccessful so far as he only has one goal but there is still time. Recently talk has been rife of Karanka’s departure due to his anger at the lack of effort shown by first teamers like Downing and wasn’t in charge for the weekend defeat at Charlton.
Thankfully this has been resolved and he will be in charge for the rest of the season. Whether Middlesbrough will be in the Championship or the Premier League next season they will need breakout stars and here are 5 Middlesbrough players that could be stars next season:
PRESS THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE FIVE PLAYERS!