Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has revealed how last-minute the club’s deal for Neeskens Kebano actually was, with the veteran boss telling all to Teesside Live about what was a mad rush to get a loan deal done with Fulham for the winger.
Boro were one of the Championship’s busier sides during the January window, with Warnock working his usual magic to bring in a host of new faces including the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
However there was one deal which really went down to the wire on deadline day, with the club having to have had moved quick to bring in Kebano from Fulham to avoid missing out.
Speaking about the events that unfolded that night, the Boro boss was quick to admit that the club thought they had missed out on signing the player at first:
“We managed to get one at the death which was a surprise really.
“We didn’t expect to get Neeskens in really.
“I was told the manager wouldn’t let him go and it was put to bed, so I was delighted.
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“It was accidental really, Alistair [Mackintosh – CEO] from Fulham rang me from thin air and the owner Tony Khan was on the phone, we just switched on one of these Zoom things in America and I had five minutes with him.
“ I asked him to help us out and I would try and repay him. I think we got a really good deal out of the situation. I think Tony trusted what I said because we’ve got Bettinelli here as well.
“After that five minutes he agreed to my request and I was delighted really.”
Kebano has quickly bedded in for the North East outfit, and was given his first runout for the club at the weekend by his new manager in the 4-1 home defeat to Brentford.
Boro have secured a very good signing for their level in the shape of Kebano and will be hoping he can make an impact as both a regular starter and as an impact sub.
All in all the club have had a great window and will be confident that the attacking signings they have made will make a real difference for them in the final third.
They desperately need to rediscover some much needed form however and for that reason they will want the likes of Kebano, Bolasie and Mendez-Laing to really hit the ground running.
With favourable games against Derby County and Huddersfield Town to come later this month, Boro could well bounce back from their recent slip ups and close in on the play-offs once more.