It feels like there can be no denying that Middlesbrough need to recruit some extra attacking firepower during the summer transfer window.
Despite their seventh place finish in the Championship this season, ‘Boro lacked a prolific goalscorer throughout the 2021/22 campaign, midfielder Matt Crooks finishing the season as their top scorer with ten league goals.
Had Chris Wilder’s side been able to call upon a more efficient marksman to lead the line, things may have been rather different, and the club could have secured themselves a top six finish that would have given them a shot at promotion.
Beyond that, with Folarin Balogun, Aaron Connolly and Andraz Sporar have all seen their loan deals at The Riverside Stadium at the end of the campaign, leaving the club short on attacking options as things stand.
As a result, it is perhaps no surprise that Middlesbrough already look to be starting their search for new attacking signings, with recent reports from The Daily Mail claiming that the club are keen on Sheffield Wednesday striker Lee Gregory.
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Having scored 17 goals in 39 games for the Owls – who missed out on promotion to the Championship following a League One play-off semi final defeat to Sunderland – this season, it is perhaps no huge surprise that Gregory is starting to attract attention as the transfer window approaches.
But despite that, it is hard not to feel as though Middlesbrough would be taking something of a risk, if they moved to bring Gregory to the Riverside Stadium this season.
Although there can be no doubting that the striker has plenty of experience in the Championship, he has never really been the most prolific of goalscorers at that level.
In five season playing in English football’s second-tier for the likes of Millwall, Stoke and Derby, Gregory best return for league goals in a single campaign is the same tally of ten that Crooks reached for ‘Boro during the 2021/22 campaign.
Consequentially, you do have to question whether Gregory would really be able to provide the firepower required to make the extra difference that ‘Boro may need to break into the play-off places next time around.
It is also worth noting that at 33-years-old, Gregory is approaching the latter stages of his career, meaning he may not be the most long term of options, while there could also be questions over whether he can still keep up with the pace of the Championship.
As well as that, Gregory still has a year remaining on his contract at Sheffield Wednesday, meaning the League One side would be entitled to a fee for him.
Given how important he is likely to be to the Owls’ hopes of another push for promotion next season, that means this is unlikely to be a deal that ‘Boro would be able to get done on the cheap, meaning it may not make sense for a financial perspective either.
It seems therefore, that while Middlesbrough are looking to address the right areas of their squad heading into the summer window, they may still need to give some consideration to who they are looking to bring in for those key roles, before moving to complete any definitive deals.