Neil Warnock has revealed that he is in the market for a new right-back following a setback picked up by Anfernee Dijksteel.
The Dutchman has salvaged his career on Teesside this season after a less-than impressive first campaign at the club, and has become a key part of Warnock’s system, whether that is at right-back or the right-hand side of three centre-backs.
But after having an operation to remove an abscess from his body, Dijksteel is facing some time on the sidelines.
It doesn’t look like he will be missing for long, but Warnock looks set to bolster the right-back position anyway, with Djed Spence suiting a wing-back role more than a right-back in a defensive four.
Initially the club were thought to be looking at a new centre-back, with Dael Fry and Grant Hall both injured – the former at the hands of a reckless challenge from Blackburn’s Jarrad Branthwaite at the weekend.
When discussing anymore incomings at Boro this week, though Warnock seemed to confirm that focus had been shifted from the centre of defence to the right-hand side.
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“I’m not really looking at another centre-back if I’m honest,” Warnock told Teesside Live.
“I don’t think Dijksteel will be out very long, and Grant will be ready in another week.
“Bola has shown he can play there on the left side too.
“I would like another defender. An out and out full-back who can fill in for Dijksteel.
“We’re looking at three or four players.”
With Yannick Bolasie coming to Boro to solve their creative issues, a defender seems of paramount importance considering Warnock’s men are on an indifferent run of form.
Ideally a player who can play equally as good at right-back and in a wing-back system will be brought in, but not all players in that position can do both roles well as Boro fans are finding out with youngster Spence.
And whoever the new signing will be, they’re not exactly guaranteed to get minutes with Dijksteel is fit, such is the quality he has possessed this season – so it’ll be interesting to see who Warnock whittles down his search to out of the three or four he’s currently exploring.