Boro’s ambitious summer transfers continue with the loan capture of Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo, the powerful former Manchester City man who scored 23 goals in 48 games in his only season in England.
A lot has been made of the Spaniard’s qualities, and his flaws, but the truth is, he is probably the perfect striker for Aitor Karanka’s 4-2-3-1 system. As good as David Nugent and Jordan Rhodes are, neither possess the physical presence that Negredo will bring to Boro’s frontline.
He probably won’t have the same work ethic or tireless running of Nugent, but he will give Boro a frontman who will be able to hold the ball up and bring the 3 attacking midfielders into the game.
Boro fans have long complained that the club haven’t had a striker to suit Aitor Karanka’s favoured system but in Negredo, they may finally have their man. He has a powerful physique that will worry defenders and bring team mates into play, and a quick look at his YouTube highlight reel show that he can certainly finish.
Jordan Rhodes certainly has the latter in his locker, but he has so far struggled to combine the role of a target man as well as a traditional number 9.
That’s not to say he can’t, or won’t, lead the line. Rhodes was a big money buy just six months ago and he’s worked hard for his chance in the top flight, he’s not going to let it go without a fight.
Rhodes and Nugent are going to be given the chance to impress. Karanka has rotated from day one and he’s not going to stop now he’s achieved success with the method. However, neither of them are better suited to demands of Aitor’s 4-2-3-1 system that Alvaro Negredo will be.
No, he hasn’t had the best form in the last few seasons, but his record in just one season at City – when he also won the Premier League title – shows that he does have the ability and attitude to perform and succeed at this level.
Victor Orta, Gary Gill and the rest of the scouting team know what they’re doing. They, Gill in particular, know how Karanka likes to play and they know what sort of forward the club needs in order to make the system more effective. When the recruitment team sat down to discuss the club’s summer plans, Negredo will have been high on their list of strikers.
If Karanka and his coaching team and get the best out of Negredo and find the striker that was considered one of the most lethal in European football a few years ago, then Boro will have a striker who is as close to an all-rounder that they’ll get, making him perfect for Aitor Karanka’s system.