Rav van den Berg echoes Middlesbrough future stance but warns 'not always the player’s decision'

Rav Van Den Berg of Middlesbrough in action
-Credit: (Image: Alan Walter/REX/Shutterstock)

Rav van den Berg has reiterated his desire to stay at Middlesbrough next season, but warns 'it’s not always fully the player’s decision'.

The Dutchman enjoyed a stellar first season at the Riverside, bagging Boro's Player and Young Player of the Year awards in the process. It followed his move from PEC Zwolle, where the 19-year-old turned down many top clubs across Europe to join Boro thanks to the lure of regular football after being convinced by Michael Carrick and Jonathan Woodgate.

But his form at Boro has done nothing to put off those same suitors, while recent reports suggest many Premier League clubs are interested in his services ahead of the summer transfer window too. Van den Berg had recently stated in an interview in the Dutch media, however, that he had no reason at this stage to leave Boro, and speaking to Teesside Live after collecting his two awards at the Player of the Year awards, Van den Berg echoed those previous comments, albeit with his fresh warning.

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He said: “Of course, I am really happy now. Sometimes it is not always just your own decision. I don’t feel I have any reason to leave here. But you never know in football, is the only thing I can say. It’s not always fully the player’s decision.

"But I am really happy right now and we will see what the summer brings. I’m really at home here, the dressing room is a really close place to be which is really important. If we all stick around next year, I believe we can have a really good year."

While Boro are in a position where serious offers will have to be considered for any player, they are keen this summer to keep their key players and build on last season to push for promotion. Van den Berg is one such player who the club are very keen to keep and while serious offers would have to be considered, they're unlikely to force the Dutchman out the door, with sales of players in recent years determined by circumstances in which the players wanted to leave.

With the likes of Dortmund, AC Milan and Juventus all showing interest previously, the centre-back looks destined for the top. But Boro are hoping his next taste of top-flight football can be at Boro as they aim to push for promotion to the Premier League. And focusing more on that, Van den Berg admits he's excited by the club's potential next season.

“We feel like we’re in a really good place heading into next season," he said. "Especially if you look at this season, we had a lot of ups, but a lot of downs as well. So we need to find more of a straight line. But we end this season in a good place for next season and if we can continue that kind of form we will have a good chance. I have a good feeling and I can’t wait for next season."