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Opinion: Holding off Leeds United transfer interest in 22-year-old would be yet another show of Middlesbrough’s ambition

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It is hard not to feel as though Middlesbrough have shown a fair amount of ambition with their actions off the pitch over the course of the past few months.

The summer transfer window saw ‘Boro bring in no fewer than 12 new senior players either permanently or on loan, including several from top-flight clubs across the world, such as James Lea Siliki of Rennes, Sporting Lisbon’s Andraz Sporar and Martin Payero from Banfield in Argentina.

Earlier this month, ‘Boro then of course, made the decision to part company with Neil Warnock, opening the door for Chris Wilder to take over in the dugout at The Riverside Stadium.

In doing that, ‘Boro put together a squad seemingly capable of competing for promotion back to the Premier League, under the guidance of a manager with recent promotion experience, and arguably one of the biggest reputations at this level.

Those moves to put themselves in such a position with their personnel both on and off the pitch, do seem to highlight the level of ambition that there is around the Riverside Stadium.

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Now it seems that with the January transfer window moving onto the horizon, ‘Boro are about to get another opportunity to put down a big statement of intent.

According to recent reports from TEAMtalk, Leeds United have joined Premier League rivals Southampton, Brighton and Burnley in taking an interest in Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier.

Having come through the academy at Middlesbrough, Tavernier has now developed into a regular feature, and important figure for ‘Boro at first-team level, with 14 goals and 13 assists in 122 appearances in all competitions for the Championship club.

Given the fact that he is still only 22-year-old as well, there is still plenty of time for him to develop and improve even further, meaning it is perhaps no surprise that interest from the top level is starting to emerge in the winger.

That of course, could present something of an issue for Middlesbrough. As has already been mentioned, Tavernier is an important player for the club, losing him would undoubtedly be something of a blow to their hopes of progressing moving forward.

But with the prospect of playing in the Premier League surely an appealing for Tavernier, and given that with little more than 18 months left on his contract at Riverside Stadium, any offers that come in for the winger will bring a fair amount of pressure Middlesbrough’s way.

As a result, standing firm in the wake of that interest from the Premier League would be yet another sign of ‘Boro’s ambitions to get back there, by keeping the players with the ability to get them up to do that level.

Indeed, securing a new contract for Tavernier, if they are able to do so, would show that even now, ‘Boro are ready and willing to compete with top-flight clubs in the market, and that too could give them the sort of crucial lift needed in the race for promotion this season.

It seems therefore, that having shown during the summer that they were willing to put together a squad with the intention of challenging for promotion for Warnock, this situation now gives Middlesbrough the chance to show they are ready to do the same for Wilder, before they have even signed any more players.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Holding off Leeds United transfer interest in 22-year-old would be yet another show of Middlesbrough’s ambition

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