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 are weighing up a summer move for Dylan Bahamboula, according to reports from the Northern Echo.
The Teessiders are looking at different options to strengthen their midfielder and have the 26-year-old box-to-box man firmly in their sights as a potential target.
It’s claimed that the Oldham Athletic man is training with Neil Warnock’s squad with the view to earning a permanent move to the club, with his current League Two employers open to allowing him to leave for a six-figure fee.
Bahamboula is valued at around £150,000 by his club, so would the midfielder be a good signing for Middlesbrough?
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It’s certainly an interesting scenario that’s playing out, with Oldham practically offering the 26-year-old on a plate to Middlesbrough.
You don’t often see a player head out on trial like this, but it could be great news for the Teessiders.
The hard facts tell you that Bahamboula is one of League Two’s busiest, most efficient midfielders, with 14 goal involvements last year.
Another thing that stands out to me is the fact that Keith Curle is recommending him to Neil Warnock.
They’ve worked together before, with Curle sure to know exactly what Warnock wants from a midfielder. That bodes well from a Boro perspective.
Of course, you can bang the drum about the step up from League Two to the Championship, which is a risk.
However, with Bahamboula hitting his peak, on the back of a really good 12 months, it might be a deal worth pursuing.
At 26 years old, Bahamboula wouldn’t be a young lower league punt of a signing that you’d expect a Championship club to make, as at that age you’d expect that he won’t be able to get much better.
Bahamboula has academy pedigree from being a youngster at Monaco but he’s been quite well-travelled since that and it’s quite random that he ended up rocking up at Oldham last season.
He proved to be quite a creative figure for the Latics though in League Two, scoring six times and grabbing eight assists and played in a number of attacking positions, including on both flanks, as a striker and in the number 10 role.
That versatility could prove to be important should Neil Warnock take a cheap punt on him, but I can’t see the Congo international ever being a starter for Boro unless the experienced manager that is Warnock manages to get a few more levels out of him.
It is no surprise to see a Championship club show an interest in Bahamboula. He is athletic, creative, and has displayed an eye for goal with his 14-goal contributions in Oldham colours.
There is also a hole left from George Saville’s departure, and whilst Lewis Wing may earn his chance to capitalise on this, the signing of Bahamboula would provide healthy competition and attacking edge when it is required.
In less than a year with Oldham, and without playing in front of a crowd, Bahamboula captured the hearts in Greater Manchester. His ability in possession is way beyond League Two level and he deserves to be playing at a higher level.
He almost instantly took to English football and that adaptability factor will be further tested if he does make a move to the English second-tier.
Making a move for the 26-year-old could be deemed as a risk because of the gulf in class between the lower end of League 2 and a play-off competing Championship side, but there will be not much pressure living up to a price-tag, as the fee is likely to be a small one.