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Opinion: Chris Wilder must strengthen this key area at Middlesbrough in the January window

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After guiding Middlesbrough to a 10th place finish in the Championship last season, Neil Warnock would have been hoping to help the club reach new heights in this division during the opening stages of the 2021/22 campaign.

However, despite bolstering his squad by signing the likes of Martin Payero and Matt Crooks in the summer transfer window, the 72-year-old was unable to achieve this aforementioned goal as Boro have struggled considerably with their consistency in recent months.

Whilst Middlesbrough did produce a spirited performance against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, Warnock was handed his marching orders following this clash and has subsequently been replaced by Chris Wilder.

When you consider that Wilder previously led Sheffield United to promotion to the Premier League in 2019, he will be determined to replicate this particular feat during his time at the Riverside Stadium.

Although Boro do have a host of players at their disposal who are more than capable of delivering the goods at this level, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Wilder decides to stamp his own authority on the club’s squad by drafting in some fresh faces in January.

One of the key areas that the Middlesbrough boss should be looking to address during the upcoming transfer window is the club’s lack of firepower.

Signed by Warnock in the summer, Andraz Sporar and Uche Ikpeazu have both found it difficult to adjust to life in Teesside.

After providing 10 direct goal contributions for Wycombe Wanderers in the Championship last season, Ikpeazu has failed to replicate this form for Boro in the current campaign.

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The forward has only managed to find the back of the net on two occasions in 13 appearances and is currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.52 in the second-tier.

Whereas Sporar has illustrated some signs of promise in recent weeks, he has only netted an underwhelming total of three goals for his new side.

In order to have the best chance of becoming contenders for a play-off place next year, it could be argued that Wilder simply has to find a solution to Middlesbrough’s inconsistency in-front of goal in January.

Although the 54-year-old may be willing to take a risk on a younger striker who has the potential to succeed at this level, it could be argued that he should be looking into drafting in an individual who knows exactly what it takes to compete in the Championship.

By signing a player who possesses an excellent track-record in the second-tier, Wilder may be able to help Boro achieve their aim of securing a top-six finish next year.


Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Chris Wilder must strengthen this key area at Middlesbrough in the January window

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