Why Middlesbrough have done the right thing by tying down 32-year-old veteran star to new deal


Middlesbrough did the right thing by offering a new contract to Jonny Howson

According to a report by the BBC, Middlesbrough midfielder Jonny Howson has extended his stay at the Riverside until the summer of 2022.

The 32-year-old veteran midfielder was in the last year of his contract but has now put pen to paper on a one-and-a-half-year extension. Manager Neil Warnock believes it is the right move as he labelled him one of the best midfielders in the league this season. (h/t BBC)


Born in 1988 in England, Jonny Howson is a veteran of the game. He joined the Leeds United youth academy in 1997 and was promoted to the senior Leeds side in 2006. The midfielder made 225 appearances and even managed to score 28 times for Leeds before joining Norwich City in the winter of 2012.

Howson made 188 appearances for the Canaries, which included playing in three Premier League seasons. The versatile central midfielder then made the switch to his current side Middlesbrough in July 2017. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Jonny Howson has been vital to Middlesbrough title charge so far this campaign. (GETTY Images)
Jonny Howson has been vital to Middlesbrough’s title charge so far this campaign. (GETTY Images)

Howson will be vital to Middlesbrough as the side pushes for promotion

Middlesbrough have had a decent start to the season. Boro’s 6 draws this season means that they sit 8th in the Championship after 12 league games despite losing only twice. It is no secret that Neil Warnock would be targeting promotion to the Premier League this season.

If that dream is to come true, then the manager would need consistency and dependability in the middle of the pitch, not just now, but also next season. The reliable midfielder has already appeared in 153 games for Middlesbrough since his transfer in 2017.

The Englishman has also featured in all of Middlesbrough’s 14 matches this season and has been at the heart of whatever the club has done so far this campaign. His heatmap speaks volumes about how much ground he covers for his team.

Norwich City's English midfielder Jonny Howson celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on May 19, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images)
Howson has a wealth of top-flight experience with Norwich City. (GETTY Images)

Warnock would be wise to not lose Howson in January

Howson would have been able to discuss a pre-agreement with other clubs in January if he wished to join them the next season as a free agent. It was important for Warnock to tie down his club’s main man before other clubs came calling.

The 32-year-old midfielder has a wealth of experience. He has featured in 563 senior games since his debut for Leeds back in 2006 and has been involved in 113 goals in that time. Even at 32, he has shown no signs of slowing down.

Manager Neil Warnock believes Howson will get even better in the coming years, and his performances this season left the Boro manager in no doubt but to tie him down for an additional year and a half. The versatility and consistency that he offers are just too vital for Middlesbrough to do away with.