Middlesbrough had a strong season last year although just missed out on their aims of the play-offs finishing the league in seventh position.
However, Chris Wilder now has a good idea of where his team is and is looking ahead to next season with the focus on strengthening his side.
The Boro boss has added to his side with Ryan Giles on loan from Wolves.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan with both Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers where he made 31 appearances in total, and over his career he has already racked up 100 EFL games.
Wilder is happy to have the youngster at the club for the new season and believes he will add balance to the team as he told Teesside Live: “Ryan is a really bright young player that’s had plenty of experience in the Championship and I think brings the qualities that we want on that left-hand side. We’ve undoubtedly got that on the right-hand side with Jonah, and we needed that matching up on the left-hand side.
“We all understand what Izzy did in a short period of time and hopefully he will continue that form, and I’m sure he will. I think what we wanted to do was make sure that we had the same attacking threat on the left-hand side, and I believe we’ve done that. He was a player hugely coveted this summer. I should imagine from his point of view, he’s watched us and sees that this is a club and a team going places. And he wants to be part of that.
“His stats at the top of the pitch, going forward, are great to hopefully he can continue that in a possession-based team. If we get the ball into him in the positions we want him in, as we did with Jonah, hopefully he can have the same effect that Izzy had but over on the left. That will balance us off.
“Of course, he will have defensive duties as part of his role that we’ll work on with him. But he’s a really exciting young player that I’m sure at the top of the pitch will make us a more exciting team. He’ll make us better in that position and will definitely excite the supporters.”
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This is a good signing from Chris Wilder ahead of the new season and shows that Wilder is making decisions based on what he already has, and is looking at areas to improve on.
As he said himself, they needed to replicate the attacking ability on the left-hand side of the pitch and hopefully the on loan player will be able to do that for them.
You can see that the Boro boss has high expectations and is prepared to challenge the player to do more in his role, and this will be why Wolves felt as though this loan move was a good idea as it’s a clear avenue for their player to develop his game.