Just 12-months after achieving promotion last season, Middlesbrough are heading back into the Sky Bet Championship, with still so much uncertainty at the Riverside Stadium.
Boro are currently without a permanent manager, which is an issue that must be addressed in the short-term future, alongside player recruitment – another pressing issue at the Riverside.
It has been announced that Victor Valdes will be leaving the Riverside this summer, despite featuring as Boro’s first-choice goalkeeper for large parts of the 2016/17 season.
Brad Guzan has featured in Valdes’ absence this season, but whoever finds themselves in the Boro dugout this summer, must look to recruit another goalkeeper.
One goalkeeper who could be on the move this summer is Karl Darlow, who has been Newcastle United’s ‘number one’ during their sole season back in the Championship.
Darlow made 36 appearances across all competitions for the Magpies, but Rafa Benitez has his doubts over the 26-year old and could look to replace him this summer ahead of Newcastle’s Premier League return.
Despite Benitez having his doubts about the goalkeeper, Darlow has proved to be very good in the Championship this season, featuring as part of the division’s joint best defence, which only conceded 40 goals throughout the season.
Darlow’s potential availability will attract a lot of interest, but Boro must make a move for the goalkeeper following Valdes’ exit from the Riverside, as he has shown this season at St James’ Park, that he can be a calming influence in the last line of defence.