Middlesbrough, New goalkeeper, Akpom replacement – Is this Middlesbrough’s ideal starting XI for next season?

New goalkeeper, Akpom replacement – Is this Middlesbrough’s ideal starting XI for next season?

Middlesbrough will be playing in the Championship next season after crashing out of the play-off semi-finals v Coventry City.

It’ll be Boro’s seventh-straight season in the second tier. But as ever, they’ll go into the new season as one of the early favourites for promotion, and after seeing how well Michael Carrick did with the club last season, Middlesbrough fans will surely be optimistic.

But this summer’s transfer window could bring a lot of change to the Riverside. They’re losing a few loan players who had become key players, and they’ll no doubt see transfer interest emerge in one or two of their names too.

Here we take a look at what Middlesbrough’s ideal starting XI for next season might look like…

Middlesbrough, New goalkeeper, Akpom replacement – Is this Middlesbrough’s ideal starting XI for next season?

Starting at the back, Middlesbrough will need to find a replacement for Zack Steffen – unless they sign him permanently. Boro are reportedly keen on doing so but a move for the USMNT goalkeeper doesn’t look all that straightforward, with European interest emerging in the 28-year-old.

Another name at the back who’ll need replacing – again, unless he’s signed permanently which won’t be so easy – is Ryan Giles. The left-back gave Boro a real creative outlet this season and his presence will be missed. Alongside him in a back four; Daragh Lenihan enjoyed a strong first season at the club, with Paddy McNair alongside him and Tommy Smith on the right.

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Then in midfield, Alex Mowatt will return to West Brom but Dan Barlaser coming in for him seems like a solid, like-for-like swap – he’ll no doubt play alongside youngster Hayden Hackney.

There’ll be some names in attack to replace this summer. Cameron Archer’s return to Aston Villa will leave a creative void up top, and so too would Chuba Akpom’s potential departure.

Middlesbrough missing out on promotion, and Akpom being in the final year of his deal after his stunning 29-goal season means that he’s likely to come under heavy transfer speculation this summer – Boro are reported to want £15million for his services.

Carrick still has the likes of Marcus Forss and Riley McGree to deploy on the flanks, and names like Matthew Hoppe set to return and bolster attacking options. But it seems likely that Boro will look to recruit direct replacements for Archer and Akpom this summer, making for a potentially very busy transfer window for the club.

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Middlesbrough, New goalkeeper, Akpom replacement – Is this Middlesbrough’s ideal starting XI for next season?

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