, Player who Middlesbrough sold this winter makes impressive start as his new club see off Hugo Lloris’ side

Player who Middlesbrough sold this winter makes impressive start as his new club see off Hugo Lloris’ side

Middlesbrough cut ties with Matt Crooks earlier this month after Real Salt Lake came calling.

The versatile 30-year-old packed his bags and jetted off to America to pen a three-year deal with the MLS outfit.

Crooks, who is from Leeds, joined Boro back in 2021 and went on to make 111 appearances for the Championship side in all competitions, chipping in with 23 goals.

He has also played for the likes of Huddersfield Town, Accrington Stanley, Rangers and Rotherham United in the past.

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Solid start for departed Middlesbrough man

Real Salt Lake were beaten on the opening day of the new MLS season away at Inter Miami. Their opponents played Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi as they ran out 2-0 winners.

Crooks wasn’t in the squad for that game but has played in both of their last two outings. He came off the bench to make his debut against St. Louis City at the end of February as his new team drew 1-1.

The Utah-outfit then beat Los Angeles FC 3-0 over the weekend, despite extremely snowy conditions at America First Field (see below).

Crooks was named in the starting XI by Pablo Mastroeni and played in a central attacking midfield role to help Real Salt Lake pick up their first three points of the 2024 campaign as they look to reach the play-offs.

Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was between the sticks for LAFC but he couldn’t prevent any of the goals he let in.

Crooks left behind a Middlesbrough side who have been very inconsistent so far this term. His exit has freed up space and funds in their ranks to bring in more reinforcements this summer.

Michael Carrick lost a lot of players last summer after he got them into the top six and it has been a tricky past few months.

Boro need to ensure that they aren’t sucked into a relegation battle. They were beaten 2-0 away at Stoke City last time out.

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