Middlesbrough wing-back Ryan Giles believes his side are more than ready to thrive during the 2022/23 campaign even if no new signings come in between now and the end of the transfer window, speaking to the Northern Echo.
The second-tier side have already recruited four first-team players during the summer, with Darragh Lenihan and Liam Roberts coming in permanently and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Giles and Manchester City shot-stopper Zack Steffen both arriving on season-long loan deals.
Steffen and Roberts have come in to address an area that needed close attention with Joe Lumley and Luke Daniels failing to do enough to assert themselves as an accomplished first-choice shot-stopper during 2021/22.
Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Middlesbrough played at these 26 stadiums?
Lumley has since departed on loan to league rivals Reading – and Daniels now looks set to be third-choice behind the two summer signings with that previous issue now being fully dealt with.
They will now turn their attention to the forward department with Uche Ikpeazu free to leave and previous loanees Andraz Sporar, Aaron Connolly and Folarin Balogun returning to their parent clubs at the end of last season, leaving Duncan Watmore, Josh Coburn and Chuba Akpom as their only options up top at this stage.
Despite this and the potential need to take a closer look at other positions as well, Giles is happy with what his side already have.
He said: “I think we can be really excited by what we’ve got in the dressing room already, and then if we get any more additions before the transfer window closes, that’s obviously great.
“On a personal level, I’m more than excited and think we’re more than ready with what we’ve got in the dressing room at the moment.”
You can understand why Giles is saying this because there are already quite a few accomplished players in their squad and to maximise confidence ahead of the new season, these sorts of comments are needed.
However, there are a couple of areas that clearly need to be strengthened before the summer window shuts, including their right wing-back position with Djed Spence being sold and Darnell Fisher remaining out injured.
Another centre-back may also be useful for depth, especially with Grant Hall leaving on loan for Rotherham, so it will be interesting to see whether another man will come in alongside Lenihan.
An extra central defender could also enable Paddy McNair to fill in for Jonny Howson when the latter becomes unavailable – and could even be a starter if Wilder wants the Northern Irishman in midfield.
But the main position that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible is the forward department – because they won’t be able to secure a top-six finish unless they have a sufficient amount of attacking firepower.