Middlesbrough are heading back into the Sky Bet Championship, after just one season in the top-flight, and a lot is still to be settled before the club can begin their planning for the next year, including who will lead Boro in their bid to rediscover the form that saw them promoted in 2016.
Aitor Karanka was the man who led Boro to the Premier League, but it looks increasingly likely that it will be one of Garry Monk or Nigel Pearson who is in-charge at the Riverside Stadium next season.
One player who Boro should look to re-sign over the summer, regardless of their manager, is Ritchie De Laet, who was part of Karanka’s side to achieve promotion in 2016.
Since then, De Laet, 28, has moved to Aston Villa, where injury has prevented the right-back from making any impact at Villa Park and limited him to just three appearances last season.
De Laet will be competing with Alan Hutton, who enjoyed a fine season in the Championship last year, and James Bree, a young full-back Steve Bruce opted to sign in January, for a starting berth at Villa Park.
It is likely that Villa will look to move a right-back away from Villa Park this summer as Bruce looks to raise transfer funds for himself.
De Laet impressed for Boro during the second-half of the 2015/16 campaign, making ten appearances under Karanka and eventually helping the club back to the Premier League.
Boro should look to bring the defender back to the Riverside Stadium over the summer, in hope that he can once again play a part in a challenge for promotion, whilst solving a problem position for the club.