This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough are among a number of sides interested in Aston Villa defender Frederic Guilbert, according to a report from Football Insider.
The defender has struggled for game time for the Villans as time has worn on and it appears as though he is getting linked with a move away, with the Riverside a potential destination.
Would he be a good signing for the Boro, then? Some of our team at FLW discuss…
I’m not really sure whether this is a signing that Middlesbrough need to be looking at right now.
In Djed Spence and Anfernee Dijksteel, Neil Warnock’s side already have two high-quality right-backs to call upon, meaning you have to feel this ought not to be a priority position for ‘Boro in the January transfer window.
Indeed coming from a Premier League club, Guilbert’s wages may not be cheap, which could impact on their ability to bring in players in other positions, with Warnock having seemingly also made it clear that the club are in the market for attacking reinforcements this month.
Add to that the fact that the Frenchman may not even be particularly high on match fitness after playing very little this season, meaning he may struggle to even be ready for ‘Boro immediately after his arrival, and it doesn’t really feel like this is a deal worth pursuing for the Championship play-off hopefuls.
Quiz: Are these 15 Middlesbrough facts genuine or not?
Unless Neil Warnock is looking to offload during the January window, then signing another right-back would appear a strange decision for Middlesbrough.
Warnock has no less than three at his disposal in Anfernee Dijksteel, Djed Spence and Dael Fry, whilst former Manchester United defender Paddy McNair is also able to slot in from centre-back.
Boro have been predictably solid at the back this term, epitomised by the fact they’ve got the third-best defensive record in the Championship, and for those reasons I definitely feel that Warnock should be looking to strengthen elsewhere – with right-back far from a priority right now.
I’m surprised Boro are being linked here.
Neil Warnock’s side have some strong full-back options at their disposal, especially down the right, with Dijksteel and Spence both competing for a starting berth.
For me, a deal for Guilbert would only make sense if one of the aforementioned duo left the club in this window, something I don’t expect to happen with Boro competing at the top end of the Championship table.
Guilbert would provide a relatively experienced, sturdy option at right-back but there are surely better-suited clubs in the second tier right now?
He’s not played a lot of football recently at Villa and would take some time to get up to match speed, so I’d steer clear if I was Boro right now, it’s not a priority.