Why Junior Hoilett could be a smashing signing for Middlesbrough
According to Teesside Live (h/t Wales Online), Middlesbrough have been credited with an interest in Cardiff City winger Junior Hoilett, with manager Neil Warnock keen to bolster his attacking ranks heading into the upcoming campaign.
As per the source, Boro boss Warnock has turned his attention to building a strong squad for next season after managing to steer the Teessiders to safety in the second-tier.
The 30-year-old was instrumental in Cardiff’s march to the semi-final of the 2019-20 EFL Championship Playoffs, accumulating 7 goals and 3 assists in 43 league appearances for the Bluebirds.
Middlesbrough’s attacking woes
Middlesbrough somehow scraped themselves through to safety in the 2019-20 Championship with a late flurry of wins towards the end of the campaign, thanks in large proportion to Warnock’s managerial acumen.
The Teessiders finished 17th in the standings with just 13 wins from 46 games, five points above the drop zone, A mere glance at the scoring numbers should be enough to suggest that the club is in dire need of some quality additions to bolster the attack.
Boro’s tally of 48 goals in fact, was the worst scoring record in the entire division, with the relegated trio of Charlton, Wigan and Hull City comfortably outscoring Warnock’s side.
Britt Assombalonga (11 goals, 2 assists) and Ashley Fletcher (11 goals, 7 assists) were the top goal contributors for Middlesbrough, with the lack of specialist wingers being one of the major takeaways from their campaign last time around.
Marcus Tavernier and Marvin Johnson, supposed to be the two specialist wide operators in the squad, shared only 4 goals between them, while Man City loanee Patrick Roberts hardly made a massive impact.
Why Hoilett could be the answer
Suffice to say, Middlesbrough need to improve on their dismal scoring record if they are to put up a strong challenge for the playoffs next term. Bringing in reinforcements in the wide areas should be a top priority for Warnock given the lack of options in that department.
Junior Hoilett might not be the most prolific winger on the planet but his years of experience coupled with his proven track record in the Championship could well offer Boro some real depth and quality down the wide areas.
The 30-year-old has amassed an impressive tally of 28 goals and 25 assists in 184 appearances in the English second tier for the likes of QPR and Cardiff City, something that Boro should definitely take note of.
Add to that his versatility to play out wide on either side of the attack and also through the middle as a centre-forward, and it’s easy to see why he would be a great signing for the Teessiders.
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As we have seen with Warnock over the years, he’s someone who has shown a lot of trust in players with proven track records in English football and Junior Hoilett certainly fits the bill in that regard, having previously worked with the Boro boss at QPR and Cardiff.
The Canadian international still has a lot to offer at 30 and with just one year left on his contract with the Bluebirds, Middlesbrough should definitely fancy their chances of nabbing the experienced winger.