Middlesbrough have received a quadruple injury boost ahead of pre-season, with Dael Fry, Marcus Tavernier, Anfernee Dijksteel and Sam Morsy all set to return to the first team squad according to Teesside Live.
All four players are a key part of Neil Warnock’s side, playing 30 or more competitive games each last season despite them being unavailable at the latter end of the campaign – and the club will be relieved at the prospect of seeing the quartet get a full pre-season of training under their belt.
Fry, Dijksteel and Morsy will be welcomed back with open arms after forming a key part of Middlesbrough’s defensive shield last season, while Tavernier will return as an additional wide option for Neil Warnock to utilise as he tinkers with his squad ahead of next season.
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The 72-year-old has only made one senior signing so far this summer, bringing in Joe Lumley from Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer, although the capture of Jeremy Sivi should also excite fans, with the Teesside club saying they fought off interest from European clubs to secure his signature.
However, there is still a lot of work to do for Middlesbrough after seeing the likes of Britt Assombalonga, Ashley Fletcher and Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing all leaving the club for free last month.
These are attacking options Warnock will look to replace ahead of next season – and has under two months to sign further reinforcements before the start of the 2021/22 Championship campaign.
Centre back Fry’s return will be particularly good news for Boro, with his performances in recent seasons catching the eye of many top flight clubs. Although Middlesbrough’s boss is adamant he won’t be going anywhere this summer – newly-promoted Brentford are interested in luring the 23-year-old away from the Riverside according to a Football League World exclusive.
However, if the previously injured quartet (including Fry) stay at the club for the 2021/22 season, their full participation in pre-season training throughout the next month and a half could be a major boost for the rest of the season, as Warnock looks to add one more promotion to his CV before he retires.
Although Boro finished 13 points away from a playoff spot last year, they sat in sixth spot in mid-December and will be expecting to execute a more sustained push for a playoff spot. And it’s little gains like getting players back in time for pre-season that can go a long way.