Opinion: Why Middlesbrough should offer man released from Sheffield on Wednesday a short-term deal


Middlesbrough has suffered several losses in its goaltending department over the past year.

Aynsley Pears joined championship rivals Blackburn Rovers last summer, Tomas Mejias had his contract canceled in January, Jordan Archer was released this summer and last season’s moneylender Marcus Bettinelli is currently attracting interest from Arsenal and from Chelsea.

Manager Neil Warnock moved to tackle this issue already earlier in the summer, with Joe Lumley arriving on a free transfer from Queens Park Rangers when his contract expires at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

But with Dejan Stojanovic’s future uncertain and Zach Hemming, 21, joining Scottish side Kilmarnock on a one-season loan, Teesside club’s business in the region may not be over just yet.

The number of departures in this area has surprised many Middlesbrough fans and they are hoping for some stability in such a crucial position in the long term.

However, Warnock has recently spoken about his lack of depth in some areas and with the new league season just a few weeks away, the 72-year-old may not be able to fully cope with his goalkeeper situation and put in action a long to long term for this area during this limited period of time.

This lack of time and the need to tackle other key positions could persuade Riverside Stadium officials to put their stop-shooting plans on the back burner for now, until they see what happens with Stojanovic and what happens with Stojanovic. monitor Hemming’s progress in the Scottish Championship.

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In the meantime, they could simply offer 36-year-old free agent Keiren Westwood, who was released by Sheffield on Wednesday earlier this summer, a one-year contract to increase their depth and second-tier experience in the post.

This period could allow Middlesbrough to assess the young goalkeepers currently playing with the academy and determine who might take the plunge, strategize to ensure their path to the first team is not blocked and to From there, identify targets to fill any remaining gaps if necessary.

And a seasoned man like Westwood would not only bring depth to Riverside Stadium, but also help some of their youngsters and nurture their development as they turn to senior football.

Middlesbrough fans may be hesitant about this possible deal due to the age of the former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper – but he has made 54 respectable league appearances in the past three seasons, including 20 in the campaign 2020/21 and would potentially be an easy and cheap deal to make if they decide to pursue it.

The goalkeeper position is also completely different in terms of age compared to other positions – and it doesn’t matter that much that he’s 36 as long as he’s been in good shape since. that he became a free agent.

This short-term fix would leave Lumley and Westwood as Warnock’s two experienced options, which could free a missing Stojanovic to ultimately seal a permanent exit from the Championship.

If that means having one less disgruntled member on their team, that can only be a good thing.

And while Westwood remains at Boro, the club can afford to bide their time and plan carefully ahead of a possible rebuilding of the goalkeeper department in the next transfer window or both, whether or not that includes some of their. academy outlook.

That’s why they should get this easy deal during their search for reinforcements before the end of next month.

The clock is turning.

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