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‘Doesn’t mean he can just waltz in to the Riverside’ – Brighton man’s starting chances at Middlesbrough: 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…

Middlesbrough are closing in on the loan signing of Brighton striker Aaron Connolly, a report from The Daily Mail has claimed.

After initially joning Brighton’s youth setup, Connolly has gone onto make 52 first-team appearances in all competitions for the Seagulls, scoring eight goals.

However, the 21-year-old has started just a single game for Brighton in the Premier League this season, meaning a move now looks on the cards.

According to this latest update, Connolly is close to joining ‘Boro on loan for the rest of the campaign, as Chris Wilder looks to bolster his side’s attack in their pursuit of a Championship play-off place.

But would Connolly get the game time he surely wants if he was to make the move to the Riverside Stadium next month?

We asked some of our Football League World writers if they thought the striker would be a guaranteed starter if he joins Middlesbrough, and here is a look at what they had to say.

Billy Mulley

Aaron Connolly would have to work his way into the Middlesbrough team if he arrives this January, and whilst he certainly has what is required at the Riverside Stadium, Boro look very strong at the moment.

From his appointment, it has been clear that striker, or even two, has been high up on his wish-list.

Middlesbrough have been linked with several strikers already this window and it looks like Uche Ikpeazu is set to depart, whilst Josh Coburn could also embark on a temporary spell away.

Connolly has ability in abundance, possessing the technical ability and goalscoring knack to succeed with the Teessiders.

His pace and intelligent movement make him a player that would thrive of the excellent service through the middle.

This has all the makings of a successful move, with there certainly being scope for him to emerge as a regular.

Ben Wignall

I wouldn’t necessarily say Connolly would walk straight into Boro’s line-up.

He is a Republic of Ireland international and has Premier League experience but that doesn’t mean he can just waltz in to the Riverside and take someone’s place.

Connolly would have to prove himself first – probably from the bench as Andraz Sporar and Duncan Watmore are working very well together.

What the Brighton man would provide though is competition and he’s definitely a Wilder type of player – hard-working and willing to press from the front.

It’s a good signing if it happens but I get the feeling that Connolly will have to be patient when it comes to starting games.

Which club did Middlesbrough sell these 26 players to?

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Josh Cole

“When you consider that Duncan Watmore, Uche Ikpeazu and Onel Hernandez have all struggled to deliver the goods on a consistent basis for Boro this season, it would somewhat of a shock if Connolly doesn’t become a regular starter for the club if he seals a move to the Riverside Stadium.

“This aforementioned trio have only managed to score a combined total of six goals this season which is an incredibly underwhelming return.

“Whilst it may take Connolly some time to adapt to life in the Championship, there is no reason why he cannot go on to excel in this division.

“By forging a fruitful partnership with Andraz Sporar, the Republic of Ireland international could help Boro reach new heights in the second-tier next year.”

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

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Article title: ‘Doesn’t mean he can just waltz in to the Riverside’ – Brighton man’s starting chances at Middlesbrough: The verdict

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