This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough are aiming to bring in a new left-back before the transfer window closes following the departure of Hayden Coulson to Ipswich Town.
Football League World has now learned that Middlesbrough have made contract with former Cardiff City defender Joe Bennett as they consider offering him a contract at the Riverside.
That comes despite the defender not yet being fully fit after suffering a serious knee injury towards the back end of last season that brought a premature ending to his campaign.
Since then, Bennett has been allowed to leave Cardiff City and that means that Middlesbrough would be able to snap him up on a free transfer.
Neil Warnock has previously worked with Bennett before at Cardiff and therefore it will be interesting to see whether they offer him a deal or not.
So with Middlesbrough interested in offering Bennett a new deal, we take asked our FLW writers whether they think it would be the right move for them to make…
It does look as though this could be a rather good signing for Middlesbrough if they are able to get it done.
Right now, ‘Boro’s squad is short on options at left-back, with Marc Bola the only established natural option on that side of the defence, so they could benefit from the addition of another option in that position, such as Bennett.
Indeed, given his vast experience in the Championship, and the fact that Neil Warnock already knows him well after their time together at Cardiff, it does seem as though Bennett would be a more than reliable option to provide cover and competition for Bola at the Riverside.
Add to that the fact Bennett is available on a free transfer, meaning this ought to be a viable deal for ‘Boro to get done from a financial perspective as well, and it does seem as though this could be one that is well worth pursuing for Warnock and co.
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This would make an awful lot of sense to be fair.
Boro are clearly in the market for a left-sided player to provide competition for Marc Bola, having been so keen on signing Ciaron Brown a few weeks ago.
Bennett is a player who Neil Warnock knows well, and the 31-year-old was key for the Bluebirds as they won promotion in the 2017/18 season.
He’s steady in defence, which is what Warnock looks for when it comes to defenders, but he also provides plenty of attacking threat too.
He’s an experienced figure who would be good for the dressing room, and overall, I think it’s a move which ticks a lot of boxes.
Neil Warnock knows exactly what a fit Joe Bennett can give him and if he’s keen then this could be a good bit of business.
How the 31-year-old recovers from the knee injury that has kept him sidelined since March will be pivotal to whether or not this is a good move.
The left-back is a reliable player at Championship level and has helped Warnock win promotion in the past.
With that in mind, signing him as a free agent could prove a useful bit of business but it’s not a decision they should look to rush.
Warnock’s relationship shouldn’t cloud Boro’s judgement here because if he can’t get back to his former self, this could prove a move that should be avoided.