Middlesbrough defender Harold Moukoudi has suggested that he chose to move to the Riverside ahead of other potential suitors in January due to both Jonathan Woodgate’s presence and the club’s facilities.
Moukoudi was a player in-demand throughout the January transfer window, with a number of other Championship clubs having been interested in the defender, but the 22-year-old eventually elected to make the move to Middlesbrough arriving on loan from French side AS Saint Etienne.
The defender will be hoping to force his way into Middlesbrough’s starting line-up at the heart of their defence over the rest of the campaign, and Woodgate will be looking for Moukoudi to help offer some extra defensive solidity to his side.
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As quoted by the Northern Echo, Moukoudi suggested that he chose to move to Boro because of the experience of Woodgate and also admitted the club’s infrastructure encouraged his decision, saying: “I want to learn with my other defenders and with the coach, he played in the same position as me, and I think he will be good for my progression.
“In France, you know Middlesbrough.
“I played here in pre-season, and I saw a good team, good players and a younger group. For me, I think that’s the best. I want to help the team progress because I am a young player myself.
“I had a lot of clubs in this window but I chose Middlesbrough.
“I am impressed by the stadium. In France, the second league haven’t got stadiums like this, and the feeling when I played here was special.”
Given the sort of career that Woodgate had operating for some of the biggest clubs in world football throughout his career, it is little surprise that the Middlesbrough manager has become a real draw for players from other nations to make the switch to the Championship, such as Moukoudi.
That is something which Boro and Woodgate managed to effectively use in convincing the defender to make the switch to the Riverside last month, and Middlesbrough will be hoping that move proves to be an inspired one for the rest of the campaign.
Middlesbrough had to fend of interest from other sides in the Championship who were keen to take the defender on loan, which suggests that the 22-year-old is well regarded and that he could potentially make a real impact during his time at the Riverside.
Moukoudi will now be needing to prove why he was a player in demand throughout the January transfer window, and he will be looking to impress during the rest of the campaign which could potentially either open the door for regular football with his parent club, or help him secure a permeant move in the summer.