Middlesbrough confirmed the signing of Riley McGree on Friday evening to complete their third addition of the January transfer window.
The Australian had performed well for Birmingham City for the best part of a season and a half before returning to his parent club Charlotte FC.
However, Boro clearly have the finances where the Blues do not and so McGree arrived at The Riverside on a three and a half year deal.
The 23-year-old took to Instagram to express his emotions after getting his Championship return over the line.
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McGree joins a fiercely competitive midfield contingent with Jonny Howson, Marcus Tavernier and Matt Crooks establishing themselves as key players in their recent positive run.
The Aussie bolsters the depth in those areas though after Martin Payero and James Lea Siliki have struggled to adapt to the physicality of English football having signed in the summer.
McGree flattered to deceive a little last season but became a key player at St Andrew’s towards the back end of 2021, it will be interesting to see if he can carry that form in this move and where he slots into Chris Wilder’s plans.
Quiz: Can you name which club Middlesbrough signed these 28 defenders from?
McGree comes in as another hefty investment at Boro, signing for well over £3 million according to Transfermarkt, and in that you would definitely expect some first team opportunities to be forthcoming.
Wilder’s men have won six of their last seven matches in all competitions and go in as overwhelming favourites against Reading this afternoon.
The play-offs feels like a minimum expectation at present, which speaks to the magnitude of the job that Wilder has done in the last couple of months, taking over in early November with Boro sitting 14th.
McGree is a more attack-minded midfielder than a bulk of their personnel and certainly provides a point of difference to those operating behind the front pairing at The Riverside.