As Djed Spence looks set to depart Middlesbrough for pastures new you get the feeling that the Teessiders’ transfer window could be about to officially start for good.
Boro haven’t splashed the cash so far, with just Darragh Lenihan and Liam Roberts arriving on free transfers and Ryan Giles coming in on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, and there’s a lot of business to be done at the Riverside in the coming weeks.
Chris Wilder splashing the cash has seemingly all rested on getting Spence out of the door, and that looks set to happen very soon following a breakthrough in negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur, bringing an eight-figure fee into the bank for Boro.
There are a few areas of the pitch that Wilder needs to address, and one of those is in the final third.
Last season, Boro signed Andraz Sporar on loan in the summer, and then added Aaron Connolly and Folarin Balogun during the January transfer window, but none of the trio really made the impression that was desired.
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All three have gone back to their parents clubs, leaving just Duncan Watmore and Josh Coburn as Wilder’s striker options.
Earlier in the summer, the experienced Jordan Rhodes was linked with a return to the Riverside from Huddersfield Town, with Wilder known to like his veteran forward, having had David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp fire in the goals for him at Sheffield United, but it appears the Terriers are pricing their man out of a move to Boro.
One natural goalscorer and experienced head that will be available though is Lewis Grabban, who after helping Nottingham Forest to promotion into the Premier League is now a free agent, having turned down Forest’s new contract offer.
Grabban is now 34 years old, and despite being injured for the latter part of the 2021-22 season, he still netted 12 times in the league.
He has had six seasons at Championship level where he has netted double figures, so Grabban clearly knows where the back of the net is, and whilst the reasons for turning down the Reds’ deal is unclear, he has more chance of game-time at Middlesbrough next season than Forest.
Despite Grabban’s age, there’s likely to be a clamour for his services, and adding him to Boro’s options right now would surely be a no-brainer.
Wilder should go out and splash the cash on a younger striker as well who can lead the line for years to come, but Grabban can be the player who has the experience and know-how at this level to make a difference – potentially off the bench for the most part – and he would be an asset for the majority of second-tier sides.