Middlesbrough should avoid signing Jairo Riedewald this January
The 22-year-old arrived at the Selhurst Park as one of the first signings of the disastrous Frank De Boer era in the summer of 2017. The Eagles shelled out £7.9 million for his signing from Dutch heavyweights Ajax. (h/t The Guardian)
However, things have hardly gone according to plan for the club and the player since his arrival. Having featured a few times in the first eight league games, Riedewald fell off the radar under Roy Hodgson, who took over from De Boer after Palace’s calamitous start to the campaign.
Things have gotten much worse for the Dutchman in the 2018-19 season as he has failed to make a single appearance in the English top-flight, with his only footballing action limited to four appearances in both domestic cup competitions. It is clear that Riedewald doesn’t belong in Hodgson’s plans but should Middlesbrough make a move for the 22-year-old?
Boro are enjoying a solid campaign and look set for a playoff spot in the Championship. Middlesbrough have been excellent in defence this season. The Teessiders have conceded just 20 times in their 28 league outings, which is the best defensive record in the English second division by some distance. The question beckons if they really need another defensive addition in the form of Riedewald in the January transfer window.
Riedewald is a versatile operator who can play at the heart of the defence, as a left-back as well as in the holding midfield role. However, Boro have enough options in central defence with Daniel Ayala, Aden Flint and Danny Batth, while Dael Fry can also provide cover if needed. Same goes for the midfield department as well, with the likes of Adam Clayton, Muhamed Besic, Paddy McNair, Jonny Howson among others.
The left-back area is something that Pulis should look to strengthen, given the lack of cover for first-choice defender George Friend. But Boro would be better served with going for a specialist in the position rather than someone who has played in the left-back role just four times in the past two and a half seasons.
Riedewald did well at Ajax but the Dutchman has clearly failed to adapt to the rigours of the English football. And as a result, Middlesbrough would be better off looking at alternative targets as they look to sustain their promotion challenge.