Middlesbrough are being touted as the front-runners in the battle for former Luton Town midfielder Pelly Ruddock, per Football Insider.
The newly-capped DR Congo international let his contract at Kenilworth Road expire, ending an eight-year association with the Hatters after initially joining them in the National League.
It’s thought that Boro are battling with league rivals Blackburn Rovers for the signature of the 27-year-old, but the Teessiders are favourite to land him.
Let’s look at one winner and one loser at Boro should they seal a deal for Ruddock ahead of the Lancashire side.
LOSER: Jonny Howson
There are several areas that Boro definitely need to still strengthen this summer, and the engine room is one of them.
It’s likely that Neil Warnock will be playing a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Marcus Tavernier in the number 10 position and two midfielders behind them, and right now he has Sam Morsy, Jonny Howson and Lewis Wing to choose from.
Wing doesn’t seem to be in favour so if Ruddock comes into the fold, he surely takes the position of Howson who you’d imagine right now to be lining up next to the tough-tackling Egyptian Morsy.
Howson is a reliable figure for Middlesbrough even at the age of 33, but the chance to add some younger, fresher legs in there will be a good option to have.
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WINNER: Neil Warnock
We all know that Warnock wants his players to run through brick walls for the team, and one thing that Ruddock will do is run all day.
The 27-year-old is a real box-to-box player and has been for many years for Luton and those abilities and traits will be something that Warnock is looking for in a new midfielder.
He already has someone who can sit in and protect the defence but he could do with someone with a lot of energy to play with or next to Marcus Tavernier who would assume the attacking role, and Ruddock would be the ideal man for the job so if Boro can get it done then Warnock will be a happy man.