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Journalist’s Middlesbrough ‘Team of the Decade’ includes Leeds and Nottingham Forest stars

Middlesbrough have had an up and down decade, playing the majority of their football in the EFL Championship, with one solitary season in the Premier League.

During this time, several players have come and gone, and with the decade coming to a close in just over a months time, journalist Joe Nicholson of The Hartlepool Mail has named his best Middlesbrough XI of the past ten years.

Four of the 11 are still plying their trade at Boro, whereas the remaining seven players are spread across England’s top two tiers, with one player in Italy’s Serie A and one in Cyprus.

The four current Middlesbrough players remaining at the club in the team of the decade are goalkeeper Darren Randolph, midfielder Adam Clayton, and defenders Dani Ayala and George Friend.

Apollon Limassol defender Emilio Nsue and Burnley’s Ben Gibson make up Nicholson’s back four, with the duo playing alongside Ayala and Friend during the promotion season to the Premier League in 2015/16.

Clayton is placed alongside Sunderland’s Grant Leadbitter, who played for Middlesbrough from 2012 and 2019 and captained the side for many years.

Ahead of the defensive midfielders, is a plethora of creativity, something which Boro could do with this season. A trio of Adama Traore, now of Wolves, Sampdoria’s Gaston Ramirez and Nottingham Forest’s Albert Adomah. All of which enjoyed successful spells at the club.

Up front, Nicholson neglects Spaniard Alvaro Negredo in favour of now-Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford. The England under-21 international won the Championship Player of the Season award when playing for Middlesbrough in 2015 as they reached the Play Off Final.

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