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“Certainly looks ready for the step up” – Middlesbrough join Rangers in pursuit of Sunderland promotion hero: The verdict



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…

Sunderland striker Ross Stewart has emerged as a reported target for Middlesbrough.

Stewart played a heroic role in the Black Cats’ promotion to the Championship, scoring 26 goals, including two in the play-offs.

According to a report from the print edition of The Mirror (May 26, page 62), Boro have joined Rangers, QPR, and Sheffield United in the race for him.

But would he be a good signing? And do they need him?

We quizzed our FLW writers for their thoughts…

Quiz: The big Middlesbrough striker quiz – Score over 80% and you can call yourself a true Boro fan

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Marcus Ally

Ross Stewart still has a lot to prove at second tier level, but given how impressive his all-round game was for Sunderland in 2021/22, he would probably nail down a starting berth at Middlesbrough.

It feels unlikely that the Black Cats will sell their best players this summer, especially not to local rivals, through organic revenue streams alone they should be able to compete financially in the second tier.

Boro certainly need to freshen up their attacking contingent this summer, and Stewart would be a coup, but I cannot see this one happening.

Stewart only has one year remaining on his deal on Wearside, while that is the case, speculation will persist, but at this stage of his career, the Scotsman should stick with what he knows and continue his rise with Sunderland.

Josh Cole

When you consider that Middlesbrough struggled for goals during the latter stages of the 2021/22 campaign, it is abundantly clear that they need to strengthen their options in this particular area.

Keeping this in mind, it could be argued that Boro should be looking to spend a sizeable amount of their budget on Stewart as he unquestionably possesses the potential to thrive at this level.

A stand-out performer for Sunderland last season, the forward helped the club secure promotion to the second-tier by scoring 26 league goals.

Whereas it may take him some time to adapt to life in the Championship, there is no reason why Stewart cannot eventually go on to excel under the guidance of Chris Wilder.

Declan Harte

The striker was key to Sunderland’s promotion charge, scoring 26 goals, and certainly looks ready for the step up to the Championship.

Middlesbrough could also use the additional firepower up front if they want to seriously challenge for promotion next season.

However, with Sunderland having earned a spot in the second division, that makes it less likely that the forward will look to depart the Stadium of Light.

But if Boro can offer the right deal for the Black Cats then he would be an excellent signing to make this summer.

London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: “Certainly looks ready for the step up” – Middlesbrough join Rangers in pursuit of Sunderland promotion hero: The verdict

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