Middlesbrough Have New Transfer Priority Following Ayling Confirmation

Middlesbrough will now turn their attention to other areas of the squad after confirming the permanent arrival of Luke Ayling from Leeds United on Monday.

Ayling arrived at Elland Road all the way back in 2016 and became a stalwart at the club. The fullback was a mainstay in three different Premier League campaigns but fell out of favour this season under head coach Daniel Farke who preferred to deploy youngster Archie Gray on the right side of the defence.

As a result, Ayling’s game-time was greatly diminished and he sought minutes elsewhere. In January, it was announced that the 32-year-old would move to Middlesbrough on a six-month loan spell and quickly became an integral part of Michael Carrick’s starting lineup from January to May.

Carrick was very keen to sign Ayling permanently ahead of the summer and the board made the head coach’s wish come true, announcing yesterday afternoon that the experienced defender had joined the club on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract with Leeds.

Now, Teesside Live have reported that Boro are in the market for a central midfielder, attacking midfielder and centre-forward, while stating that bolstering the centre of the park is the club’s priority this summer.

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Furthermore, the outlet are claiming that signing a new striker is a priority that can wait as Emmanuel Latte Lath’s form towards the back end of the campaign – a run which included nine goals in 10 matches – won’t rush them into acquiring another frontman.

Writer’s View

Signing Ayling was an important move by Middlesbrough, one which was completed nice and early, even before the transfer window began. The fullback offers invaluable experience of earning promotion and playing in the Championship, meaning others in the squad can learn from him.

However, the club still needs to improve the middle of the park, particularly with club captain Jonny Howson having turned 36 last Tuesday. Fresh legs are needed in there while perhaps a backup option to Latte Lath would be an astute piece of business by Boro in case the Ivorian picks up an injury.

About Adam Scully 1082 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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