Middlesbrough are closing in on the signing of Patrick Roberts from Manchester City, with the midfielder set to arrive at the Riverside Stadium in the next 48 hours.
According to Football Insider, Roberts has already passed his Middlesbrough medical and the deal is finalised for him to become a Boro player on loan once again.
Last year, the 23-year-old made 10 appearances for Boro in the Championship, scoring once and registering two assists.
Neil Warnock’s side have started the 2020/21 season reasonably well, but there’s no denying that the signing of Roberts enhances their potential to do well, if he can stay fit.
With the Man City man’s imminent arrival in mind, we explore ONE winner and ONE loser…
Winner: Ashley Fletcher
Roberts assisted two goals last season for Middlesbrough, with Fletcher benefitting twice from the playmaker’s delivery from the right.
The 23-year-old is a player that likes to get on the ball in the final third and he’s more than good enough to split open defences with his delivery.
Fletcher benefitted from that last season and could do the same again as he links back up with the Man City loanee.
It’s also worth noting how Britt Assombalonga and Chuba Akpom will benefit from Roberts’ arrival. He, combined with the striking trio, should solve Boro’s goalscoring woe.
Loser: Marcus Browne
The issue for Browne at Boro is that he’s not a striker, but he’s not a midfielder. He’s a link player, which doesn’t really suit Warnock’s 3-5-2 system.
Roberts is, of course, traditionally a winger. However, he’s a really clever player who can drift between the lines and out wide to find himself useful pockets of space.
You’d imagine that when he arrives, he’s going to be the ‘link’ player in the Boro squad, pushing Browne further out of the picture.