Adam Forshaw - "oh he’s suddenly a good player."
Prior to Middlesbrough’s 2016/17 Premier League campaign, new signing, Marten De Roon was expected to be the man making all the headlines for Boro in midfield.
However, those inside the club and supporters with a keen eye, knew there was great midfield talent already present at the Riverside, in the way of Adam Forshaw.
Forshaw has played a part in all 8 of Boro’s competitive games this season, including a full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw at West Ham, before the international break. It was Forhaw’s performance in the match at the Olympic Stadium, which has seen the 24-year-old propelled into the media spotlight, with Match of the Day pundit, Jermaine Jenas calling his display “exceptional.” The analysist highlighted Forshaw’s willingness to get on the ball, in addition to his passing ability and how his assurance in the centre of Boro’s midfield, should make him a regular choice for Aitor Karanka.
One look at the statistic for pass success percentage and it becomes clear how Forshaw has been key to keeping Boro moving in midfield. The Englishman has an 89.4% completion rate from the 7 games he has been involved in, only N’Golo Kante and Santi Cazorla can beat that record for Premier League midfielders with the same number of appearances, showing what great company Forshaw is keeping, at the top level of the game.
Having been omitted from the starting XI in the match against Tottenham a week earlier, Forshaw proved his point to Aitor Karanka in the match at West Ham but not in a way which showed desperation or anger at being left out the week before. It was a controlled performance and his heat map from the match against West Ham, showed a player willing to stay in the middle of the pitch and dictate the game. Forshaw rarely stayed more than 20 yards either side of the half-way line, only doing so when required to help his team elsewhere on the pitch.
Fans of Brentford will tell you this was not a one-off performance and previous displays in the Premier League this season, are evidence of this. One fan said Forshaw was the best player he has ever seen in a Brentford shirt and predicted a bright future for the player, in the Premier League.
George Friend, who has also enjoyed a good start to life in the Premier League with Boro, commented on how Forshaw has always been a brilliant player and his colleagues are not surprised by how well he was been playing in the top tier of English football. “It’s not like, ‘oh he’s suddenly a good player.’ We have always known he was a really good player ever since he arrived here and he’s such a good character as well. He’s so good for the team,” said Friend.
Drawing plaudits from Match of the Day pundits and team mates alike, would go to the head of many a young player but Forshaw has proven himself to be a patient man, who was willing to drop down from Everton, to League One at the age of 20, for first team football. He will not be taking his good start to the season for granted, that’s for sure considering there's all to play for in the Premier League at bet-bonuscode.co.uk.
With matches against the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea coming up for Boro, the influence of a calming midfielder, who is willing to get on the ball and pass it confidently, would be ideal. Boro have that man in Adam Forshaw. Those outside the club may be surprised by that but for others, it has always been a possibility.