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“Would bring ability and leadership” – Middlesbrough chasing Newcastle transfer deal: The verdict



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 have been linked with Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark. 

According to the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope, Boro are one of a string of Championship clubs interested in the centre-back, who is out of favour at St James’ Park.

But would he be a good signing? And do they need him?

Our FLW writers share their thoughts…

Quiz: 20 statements about former Middlesbrough players – Are they true or false?

1 of 20

Juninho signed for Boro for the first time in 1996

Declan Harte

Clark’s time at Newcastle has to come to an end this summer, the defender has fallen so far down the pecking order under Eddie Howe.

But he is still a capable defender who could be better suited to both the Championship and Chris Wilder’s style of play.

The Irishman would look more comfortable as part of a back three system, which should hide some of his more glaring weaknesses.

If Boro can play to his strengths, akin to those of an old-school defender who can marshall the box well, is good in the air and isn’t afraid to get stuck in for a tackle then this will be a very good addition to Wilder’s squad.

But the defender can be error-prone and is liable to have costly lapses in concentration, so having that extra defensive cover could be crucial to making this potential deal work.

Adam Jones

Another centre-back should certainly be on the agenda at the Riverside this summer.

Darragh Lenihan is a good addition – but more cover is needed with Grant Hall potentially on his way out of the club this summer and Paddy McNair potentially needed in midfield at different points throughout the 2022/23 campaign.

Following the departures of Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier, an injection of experience wouldn’t go a miss and Clark is the type of player that could help to take Boro to the next level.

It remains to be seen whether he can be a reliable option if they get to the Premier League though, so he may not be a long-term option for Chris Wilder.

Still, they have the likes of Dael Fry, Paddy McNair, and Anfernee Dijksteel who could remain with Boro for the foreseeable future, so someone of experience who may only give them one or two seasons will probably be sufficient.

Billy Mulley

I do not think Middlesbrough is the worst destination in the world for Ciaran Clark but it is far from the best.

Already possessing strong right-footed options in Dael Fry and Anfernee Dijksteel, they have also added talent and experience with the additions of Darragh Lenihan and Nathan Wood.

For me, if they are to bolster their defensive options further, a progressive left-footed central defender would be the way to go.

With all that being said, Ciaran Clark is a player who would bring ability and leadership to the Riverside Stadium ahead of an important campaign for Boro – two invaluable traits that would certainly help create a good atmosphere at the club.

London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: “Would bring ability and leadership” – Middlesbrough chasing Newcastle transfer deal: The verdict

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