Middlesbrough currently sit in second in the table and are not struggling to compete in any sense of the word. However, there are positions the club need to strengthen, and with the January window just around the corner, Pulis could look to add sooner rather than later.

Here are three positions Middlesbrough need to strengthen in January to keep up their promotion chase:

Right-back

Ryan Shotton was initially bought as a central-defender but has since made the right-back slot his own. Having played there under Tony Pulis at Stoke, the 30-year old was deployed in that position shortly into the Welshman’s reign.

Other than Shotton, Middlesbrough only have Paddy McNair and Dael Fry able to play at right-back, but both players are naturally adept in different roles, as a central-midfielder and central-defender respectively.

Left-back

On the other side of defence is another worry for Boro, with George Friend the only left-back currently at the club. Southampton’s Sam McQueen was signed to compete with Friend, but is currently back at St. Mary’s after suffering an ACL injury in the Carabao Cup win over Crystal Palace.

Stewart Downing has also been used as a left-wing back in a back-five over the course of the season, but another natural left-back should be a priority in the winter window.

Winger

Middlesbrough are noticeably short in wide areas, and currently use Downing and Martin Braithwaite at left and right-midfield. Tony Pulis noticed they needed width after the departure of Adama Traore, and actively pursued the likes of Albert Adomah, Matt Phillips and Yannick Bolasie in the summer, but with no success.

Adomah and Phillips could be two players Middlesbrough look to buy or loan in January, but it is obvious that it will be one of the positions the manager will look to add to.


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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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