Boro fans’ days were made on Friday afternoon as the club confirmed that defending colossus Daniel Ayala had signed a new deal with the club, keeping him at the Riverside until 2020.
The new deal ends months of speculation surrounding the Spaniard’s future and eases the nerves of some of the more jittery supporters. Ayala was a key player for Boro for the last two seasons and despite the need for a new centre-back, their won’t have been too many Boro fans that weren’t worried by his contract situation.
And although the club have signed some big names this summer, getting the best defender in the Championship last season to sign a new deal is the best bit of business - along with a list of online casinos in Ireland.
As well as having all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League, Ayala has established a first class partnership with Ben Gibson. Keeping the dynamic duo together will aid Boro’s survival bid massively because as well as having the quality as a pairing, they have an understanding and personal relationship.
They know what the other is thinking. They know their strengths and their weaknesses and while Boro do still need a new centre-back, having an established partnership will be crucial in the relegation battle.Signing Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo – and even, to an extent, spending nearly £12m on a defensive midfielder – has made people sit up and take notice of the football club again, but Ayala’s new deal is the most important for the club.
A huge part of the club’s success under Karanka has been built from the togetherness and close relationship every member of the squad has. The recovery from Aitor’s ‘long weekend’ shows that. So having Ayala, who is a leading member of the dressing room, commiting his future to the club will be crucial for the up-and-coming season.
Whether Ayala will be fit to feature in the first game of the season against Stoke is another matter but his influence over the season makes him Aitor’s most important summer deal.
Although knowing Karanka, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Ayala in the starting XI on the 13th.