Middlesbrough savvy transfer trick will avoid repeating 2023 problems

Delano Burgzorg impressed for Huddersfield Town in the Championship
-Credit: (Image: Gareth Evans/News Images)


The fact that Delano Burgzorg can operate in the middle or on the left may increase Michael Carrick’s options for a promotion push. It appears that Middlesbrough’s new boy can be utilised either as an orthodox striker, a No 10, or on the left flank.

That’s perfect for Carrick who needs competition for places in all three positions. We assume that Emmanuel Latte Lath will start off as the No 1 choice up front and hopefully grab a bagful of goals to stay there.

Not only will Burgzorg come in and no doubt push Latte Lath hard, but he will probably also contest the No 10 role with Finn Azaz. Carrick converted orthodox front runner Chuba Akpom to a No 10 two seasons ago with great effect. So whatever role the manager selects for Burgzorg will be the right one.

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The left-sided role is an interesting one. Riley McGree and Sammy Silvera are among the players who will be contesting this position. But with Isaiah Jones on the right, Boro will lose nothing by increasing the options on the left with the addition of another quality man.

Burgzorg’s Championship experience counts greatly in his favour so in many respects he looks an absolutely top notch addition. He will probably not need the settling in period which is afforded to many foreign signings, while at the age of 25 he is possibly approaching his peak.

Another couple of permanent signings – provided Boro find the right men – can enable this team to take off next season. It’s still going to be tough because the relegated clubs have all the cash and therefore hold a hand of aces. But team work and belief count for a great deal, as Ipswich proved, and you wouldn’t bet against Carrick once again getting the best out of his squad.

One thing which will help considerably, and give the team a collective boost, will be if Boro can hang on to Hayden Hackney. The homegrown midfielder is a classy operator at this level. In reality it’s only to be expected that Premier League clubs will run the rule over him.

Spurs are said to be the most interested club at the moment and it’s pretty likely that they are capable of making an offer which will tempt Boro to sell. Naturally Hayden is officially not for sale, but money talks, especially silly money.

On the other hand, if Hackney was to move to a major club like Spurs I would be a little concerned about his chances of making a breakthrough at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. He would probably be seen as one for the future and would face plenty of competition for a regular place in the top flight.

Moves like this can be damaging. Just look at Djed Spence. The salary increase can be very tempting but sometimes moves like this can harm a player’s long term future in the game.

How much better it would be if Hackney was staying with Boro next term and leading the march towards the Premier League. In many respects it offers him the easiest route to a regular place in the top flight!

From what we have seen so far, Law McCabe will one day be a natural successor to Hackney if he sticks at his game and continues to make progress. However it will be far better all round if Hayden decides to give it at least another year at this level.

McCabe probably needs the whole of the new season to fully develop as a potential first team player and it will be far better for the lad’s sake if he is brought along gradually.