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 reportedly interested in a deal to sign Swansea City defender Jake Bidwell, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon (15th August, page 63).
Bidwell has been with the Swans since 2019, and has gone on to make 89 appearances for the club, having previously been on the books with both Brentford and QPR.
The left-back made 46 appearances for Swansea last term, as they narrowly missed out on promotion into the Premier League, after a defeat to Brentford in their play-off final at Wembley.
Bidwell could depart the club this summer though, with it being claimed by The Sun that Max Lowe could be set to arrive at the Liberty Stadium this summer on loan from fellow Championship side Sheffield United.
A move to the Riverside with Middlesbrough could tempt Bidwell, with Boro currently sat seventh in the Championship table, after a recent 2-1 win over Bristol City at the weekend.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Middlesbrough’s rumoured interest in signing Bidwell this summer, and whether or not he’d be a good addition to Neil Warnock’s side.
On the face of it, Jake Bidwell would be a brilliant addition to Neil Warnock’s squad and the defender has to be one of the best possible options that Middlesbrough could turn to as they aim to make a much-needed addition in the left-back position.
Bidwell has plenty of proven Championship pedigree and last season he was one of Swansea’s best and most reliable performers as they made it to the play-off final.
A tally of eight assists from left-back was highly impressive and shows that he would be able to add a lot going forwards for Boro in terms of supplying dangerous deliveries into the box.
The issue here could well be the potential £2.5 million transfer fee that is being suggested. That is a lot of money for Middlesbrough to spend on a player who is in the latter stages of his current deal with Swansea at the moment.
Having said that, Swansea are of course going to be reluctant to lose Bidwell on the cheap and to a potential Championship rival as well. Therefore, Boro might have to contend with paying a little more than they might ideally like to secure his services.
Bidwell is the sort of marquee signing that Middlesbrough need in the left-back position and he would undoubtedly improve Warnock’s side considerably. It might therefore be worth paying the money to bring in a player of his ability.
After losing Hayden Coulson to Ipswich Town, albeit on a temporary basis, the Teesside club are definitely in need of a left-back to come in and provide the squad depth needed to sustain a push for the top six this season.
Marc Bola might be a decent first choice for Neil Warnock to have, but considering the Premier League interest Djed Spence has generated from the likes of Everton, West Ham and Norwich City, they currently look vulnerable at left-back and Jake Bidwell would come in to provide Championship experience, solidity at the back and a threat going forward. He recorded an impressive nine league assists last year.
Bidwell has also been heavily involved in Swansea City’s consecutive play-off finishes in the two seasons – and could help to instil the winning mentality needed at the Riverside Stadium to push them on to great things.
Because of this, Bidwell’s signing would be a smart one by Boro and they might be able to get him on a slightly cheaper deal considering his contract at the Liberty Stadium expires in less than 12 months.
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This does look as though it could well be a decent signing for Middlesbrough to make if they can pull it off.
Looking at Neil Warnock’s current squad, they are badly short on some cover and competition for Marc Bola in the left-back position at this moment in time.
That therefore, could be a position they will want to add to in the final few weeks of the window, and Bidwell would obviously be a player who can fill that role.
Indeed, his experience at this level with the likes of Brentford, QPR and now Swansea has shown that Bidwell is a reliable candidate to be used on the left-hand side of defence, so he could certainly be a smart signing for ‘Boro.
Add to that the fact that the reported asking price for Bidwell would be a clear sign of ‘Boro’s intent going forward this season, and it certainly appears as though this could one well worth pursuing for those in charge at The Riverside Stadium.