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Riley McGree and Middlesbrough: Is it a good potential move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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We are 11 days into Chris Wilder’s first transfer window as Middlesbrough boss, meaning the next three weeks or so could prove vital to what success is able to be achieved by the North East club this season. 

Aaron Connolly has already joined on loan from Brighton but it seems there could be more attacking reinforcements through the door soon, with Riley McGree one of the players linked.

The Sun reported on the weekend that Boro were leading the race for the attacking midfielder, who impressed on loan with Birmingham City in the first half of the season but returned to Charlotte FC at the start of the month.

It is said that Wilder will get the funds to sign McGree this week but is it a good potential move? Would he start? And what does he offer?

We take a look…

Can you name which club Middlesbrough signed these 28 midfielders from?

1 of 28

Martín Payero?

Is it a good potential move?

Signing McGree would be a real statement of intent from Boro as they look to launch a promotion push in the second half of the season.

Is landing the 23-year-old a necessity? No. But though Wilder does have some strong central midfield options, McGree would improve the squad and given his age could be a signing that pays real dividends further down the line.

It shouldn’t be a top priority but if a deal is there to be struck, it should aid the Teessiders in their pursuit of Premier League football.

Would he start?

Perhaps not straight away but there does seem to be an opportunity to cement a place in Boro’s midfield if McGree can win Wilder over.

Matt Crooks has been hugely impressive since joining from Rotherham United but fellow summer arrival Martin Payero is yet to really find his feet at the Riverside while bright prospect Marcus Tavernier has been a regular fixture without really having a significant impact.

That suggests that there may be an opportunity for McGree to force his way into the starting XI should he sign for the North East club this month.

What does he offer?

Boro would be signing a playmaker that has proven himself capable of influencing games at Championship level.

He scored two goals and added two assists in 13 appearances for the Blues in the first part of the 2021/22 campaign but his impact on Lee Bowyer’s side was much greater than that.

As well as the pace and agility that you’d look for in an attacking midfielder, McGree’s ball control and range of passing made him a real asset at Birmingham in the first half of the season.

We saw with the Blues that he’s willing to work hard and has the tenacity to win back possession in midfield, which should mean he fits well in Wilder’s system.

The Australia international’s set-piece delivery is also a bonus, as is his versatility – though you feel he’s likely to only be used centrally if he does join Boro.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Riley McGree and Middlesbrough: Is it a good potential move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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