2017/18 Dream Team
We've all now become well adjusted to the long marathon that is the Championship, but looking ahead to next year what team would you like to see us go for?
Dream choice: Victor Valdes
Realistic choice: David Marshall
Valdes, after all, does have another year on his contract and he would be a major asset if we could convince him to stay.
But should he crave top flight football, we should look into someone like a David Marshall. A solid and dependable performer in struggling side.
Luckily enough, we should have two ready-made top quality Championship full-backs in Friend and Fabio, backed up by Husband this should be an area of strength.
Barragan is likely to leave, but why not look into bringing back Nsue? A fans favourite and currently having a torrid time at Birmingham, we could do a lot worse.
Dream choices: Ayala and Chester
Realistic choices: Ayala and Kalas
As expected, Ben Gibson has announced he'll be leaving Boro this summer should we go down. Luckily, he has only just signed a new deal so we should be getting a record fee for the young centre back.
After that, if Ayala can remain injury free and find his best form again he has the potential to be arguably the best centre back in that league. In terms of a partner, we could do a lot worse than bring back Tomas Kalas who's had a great season for Fulham.
Dream choice, one of the few plus points in an average season for Aston Villa, Chester has been a stand out performer but would likely be pricey.
Championship defenders tend to command big fees but it could be a good opportunity to start to bed Dael Fry into the setup, not as a starter but definitely a prominent fixture.
Dream choices: Helder Costa and Tom Ince
Realistic choices: Downing, Adama, Stuani and Atsu
Wingers have been a contentious area for Boro this season, there's been little to no threat in the wide areas and most Premier League full backs have had a fairly easy time.
I'd like us to make a statement and go for someone who's going to get people out of their seats and score goals. I've been a big fan of Tom Ince at that level for a long time as he regularly nets double figures, although he is prone to going missing in big games. After suffering routine disappointment with Derby, it could be a player who could be after a new challenge.
Helder Costa has been incredibly impressive, but Wolves shelled out £14m for him so this would be a large part of our budget. But Atsu has had a great season for Newcastle and I'd be surprised if they were to make his move a permanent one, usually upon promotion most teams look for upgrades in all areas and Atsu hasn't ever cut it at Premier League level.
Dream choices: Aaron Mooy, Tom Cairney, Mohammed Diame and Adam Clayton.
Realistic choices: Leadbitter, Clayton, Forshaw and De Roon
To be completely honest, I can't see us revamping our central midfield too much simply because we have the basis of a title winning midfield already. The Clayton/ Leadbitter axis has been successful for two seasons at that level, but having said that I would like to see a centre midfielder arrive that's more positive and more of a goal threat.
Aaron Mooy's loan spell has been very eye-catching, Tom Cairney has also been someone who has always caught my eye with his range of passing and goal scoring capabilities. The other outside chance is Mo Diame, Newcastle will be looking for upgrades all over the pitch and he could potentially be another casualty. Diame at Championship level is a very talented box to box maestro and is also an experienced big game performer.
Dream choices: Ross McCormack, Tammy Abraham or Glenn Murray
Realistic choices: Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gustede and Tammy Abraham
The striker department at the moment, bar Negredo, is of a Championship standard. If Bamford and Gustede can rediscover their confidence and form, I think this could be a match made in heaven. Gustede could do the physical side of the game, winning headers and bruising with defenders whilst Bamford could be given the license to float as a second striker/ false 9.
On top of that, 19 year old Tammy Abraham would be an excellent addition. Tall, fast and a calm finisher under pressure, he's smashed in 23 goals for Bristol City in his first full season. With our Chelsea connections, hopefully strings can be pulled by Mr. Kenyon.
- Is Britt Assombalonga’s time at Middlesbrough coming to an end?
- Lewis Wing’s future at Middlesbrough uncertain
A couple of outside shots, Ross McCormack has had a terrible campaign but again when in form he is one of the best strikers in the league and he can play in many positions across the front line. Him and Steve Bruce have fallen out big time and they'll be willing to take a cut on the £11m man.
What are your thoughts? Who would you buy? Let us know.