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Post eindhoven we have seen star after star leave for pastures new so who is next? Boro now have 27 ex players in the premiership and they add up to a fairly impressive team.
gk - Mark Schwarzer Brad Jones Ross Turnbull Carlo Nash
dr - Luke Young Stuart Parnaby
dl David Murphy matthew kilgallon
dc Jonathan Woodgate Robert Huth David Wheater Andrew Davies
mr James Morrison Chris Brunt
ml Adam Johnson Stewart Downing
dmc Lee Cattermole Herold Goulon jonathan hogg issaiah osbourne
amc Boudewijn Zenden Jason Euell Jonathan Greening
fc Tuncay Sanli Cameron Jerome
sc Yakubu Marcus Bent
so a first team of the following would be a dream come true nowadays!
young woodgate wheater murphy
johnson oneill cattermole downing
but we have to look to the future not the past and chances are thats going to involve further departures so lets take a look at the options.
Goalkeeper - coyne is probably to old to sell, ripley is raw talent who we havent seen so why would anyone buy him, Steele is the one who we could sell and make some money on, he is highly talented and has a bright future ahead of him but i really hope he stays for at least another 3 years and doesnt make the same mistake as turnbull.
right backs - mcmahon is a very good player and i hope he is boro's right back for a long time. hoyte is a decent wing back but lacks the quality defending and the technique of crossing to be a real star. chances are he is on prem wages so really should be shipped out.
left backs - grounds is fairly average but has enough height to be useful cover at centre back as well. bennett is the future! a real attacking threat who has a big future ahead of him if he reaches his potential, certainly could be sold but got to be held onto for as long as possible
centre backs - bates is a good player but needs a couple of years injury free before anyone would take a chance with him. hines is another with a lot of potential and hopefully he will work hard at boro. mcmanus is the only old head he have left in the back line but he is a bit slow and again if he is on a lot of wages he could be sacrificed in the summer assuming he is fit enough to pass a medical
right wing - franks is another full of potential, flood is hard working and finances allowing is a useful member of the squad when fit. sadly kink looks to be the odd one out he has a splendid shot on him but has gone missing in several games and rumours have already started about a move
left wing - taylor a left back really but mowbray seems to think we could be better in midfield, a decent footballer but lacking the quality to be really effective and since he is on premiership wages we has to go. halliday is a strange one after seeing him play for 5 mins it was obvious he wasnt ready for this level yet he sits there in the reserves rather than being sent out on loan
defensive midfield - tavares is nowt but cover for the injured two to follow. thomson had started to look a good player before being injured again and i cant see him going anywhere for a while. williams is another like bates has some qualities but due to his injury record he isnt going anywhere soon.
attacking midfielder - now i use the term attacking loosely! robson is as hard working as they come but really lacks quality and speed, his age means he really isnt a saleable asset. bailey is starting to look like a footballer and if push came to shove we could get a million for him but i hope we get to see more of this bailey and not couldnt find a red shirt bailey. then there is my old friend arca, any minute he could provide a defence spliting pass, only problem is it could be either defence !!! if we could sell it would be great, i just hope we dont extend his contract
strikers - another word we have to use loosely! mcdonald is certainly a saleable asset but not much of one, lita could be sold, he isnt a team player and isnt good enough to explain his attitude so who would want him? emnes is one of those players who no one really knows what his best position is a bit like aliadiere which is fine in a winning team but in ours im not sure there is room for him, it might be best to sell despite a couple of decent shows. miller was another jokee signing by strachan he barely looks like a footballer so needs to be shipped out asap. williams another kid with all the potential to make it big, i hope he keeps getting his chance at boro. then theres boyd who has been a huge disapointment and really needs to depart so we can save a fortune on wages.
so whos next ? my money is on boyd, taylor, kink, miller, hoyte, and hopefully not steele, mcmahon, bennett, franks, l williams