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 manager Jonathan Woodgate has acted swiftly to fill the void left by goal-keeper Darren Randolph’s departure to West Ham by agreeing a deal with Swiss Super League side St Gallen to sign goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic, according to a report on TEAMtalk.
The 26-year-old former Macedonian U21 moved to Switzerland in 2016 on a free transfer and went on to make 81 appearances for the Swiss side keeping 16 clean sheets.
So is Stojanovic a good signing at the Riverside, is he needed and will he start for Boro?
“Randolph is one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship in my opinion and it was always going to be difficult for Middlesbrough to replace him.
“However, I think Stojanovic could be a decent signing for Middlesbrough. He’s got plenty of experience in Europe and should be able to adapt to the Championship relatively comfortably.
“Having lost Randolph, Boro definitely need to sign a new goalkeeper but I’m not sure whether Stojanovic would start ahead of Aynsley Pears – who has really stepped up and performed very well when Randolph has been out injured.
“Even if he doesn’t start, they need to bring in a backup goalkeeper anyway, so this seems like smart move.”
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“He looks a decent signing on paper.
“Obviously it’s hard to judge him properly having never seen him play and even proven keepers take time to adapt to English football which is a lot more physical than leagues across Europe.
“So, that’s the obvious risk but for around £1m they have brought in someone with decent pedigree and at 26-years-old he should have his best years in front of him.
“Plus, the form of Aynsley Pears means that Boro aren’t desperate for someone to come in and hit the ground running. He has done extremely well in recent weeks and has been part of a team that has picked up some very good results. So, it’s down to Stojanovic to prove he deserves to dislodge the youngster.”
“Middlesbrough definitely needed to sign a goalkeeper, given that number one Darren Randolph has returned to West Ham, leaving a hole in the side.
“I’m not entirely convinced that Stojanovic will start for Boro, given the great form of Aynsley Pears while Randolph has been injured, which has coincided with Middlesbrough’s huge upturn in form of late.
“It might be a good signing based on his individual quality as Woodgate clearly has more faith in Pears as a backup than Tomas Mejias, so Stojanovic could come in as second or first choice to create healthy competition.
“Having already moved fast in the transfer window to secure other targets, Boro were in a good position to move for a ‘keeper when they didn’t exactly need one urgently and this won’t be near as high a fee as what they received for Randolph, so a smart signing in my opinion.”