New Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk has a tough task on his hands already as defender Ben Gibson has already stated his intention to remain in the Premier League next season.
That means the Riverside outfit need an ideal replacement lined up before he departs, which will be tough as clubs are adamant to keep hold of their key assets, meaning ‘Boro may have to dive into the free market pool of players.
One centre-back who has a prestigious and honourable CV to his name is Joleon Lescott – the veteran has recently been released by relegated side Sunderland who want a fresh start to life in the Championship.
The 34-year-old is a household name in English football, having won the Premier League title on two separate occasions at Manchester City – 2012 and 2014.
However, admittedly ever since then his career has gone on a downward spiral.
Lescott had unsuccessful spells at West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa, failing to help the latter survive the drop to the second-tier, and was then snapped up by Greek team AEK Athens.
The former England international’s time there didn’t go as planned and make a quick return to England where he was signed up by bottom-of-the-table Sunderland in January.
Whilst Joleon Lescott’s time in the top-flight may have come to an end, I think he still has plenty to offer in the Championship and if Middlesbrough do happen to lose Ben Gibson, then this man is an ideal and suitable short-term replacement for six-months or a season.
He is also a like-for-like left-footed replacement.
Middlesbrough supporters – do you think Ben Gibson will leave? Would you have Joleon Lescott replace him? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!