The scale of Middlesbrough’s transfer business this summer is expected to be dictated by what division the club find themselves in.
Whereas promotion to the top-flight via the play-offs will inevitably lead to Boro expanding their horizons in terms of targets, they may take an entirely different approach if they are facing another year in the Championship.
Victory for Middlesbrough this weekend in their showdown with Preston North End will allow them to sneak into the top-six if Sheffield United or Luton Town slip up in their fixtures.
Although the summer window is not set to open until next month, Boro have already been linked with a move for a player who currently plays his football in the Bundesliga.
According to The Telegraph journalist Mike McGrath, Middlesbrough are keeping tabs on Mainz attacking midfielder Jean-Paul Boetius.
Unless the German outfit are able to convince Boetius to extend his stay at the club, he will become a free-agent this summer.
Taking this speculation into consideration, it could be argued that Boro ought to avoid the possibility of being dragged into a transfer battle with Norwich and Watford over the attacking midfielder.
During the 2021/22 campaign, Boetius has only shown fleeting signs of promise in the Bundesliga for Mainz as he has been directly involved in a total of six goals in 31 appearances at this level.
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As a result of his inconsistency, the former Feyenoord man has only managed to make 0.8 key passes per game from his advanced role and is currently averaging an underwhelming WhoScored match rating of 6.54.
Having never played in the Championship or in the Premier League in his career, there is no guarantee that Boetius will be able to adapt to the competitiveness that both of these divisions are famed for.
Furthermore, Boro may be forced to pay a significant amount of money in terms of wages in order to fend off competition from Norwich and Watford for Boetius’ signature as he already earns a reported figure of £13,000 per week at Mainz (as per Salary Sport).
Instead of taking a risk on a player who may not necessarily possess the credentials needed to thrive in England, Middlesbrough should be looking to sign individuals who have excellent track-records when it comes to delivering the goods in the Football League.