Having already completed the signature of Danish international midfielder, Viktor Fischer, Boro moved to Spain, to bring in central defender, Bernardo Espinosa.
Aitor Karanka obviously knows Spanish football well and has struck a deal with Espinosa, to bring him in on a free transfer, from Sporting Gijon. The central defender is Colombian but has yet to represent his country at international level. He left Sevilla in the summer of 2013, to join Sporting Gijon, who were then playing in the second tier of Spanish football. During the 2014/15 season, Espinosa only missed one game, as Sporting Gijon won promotion to the top flight and was also presented with the award for best defender in the Segunda Division that season.
Unfortunately, Espinosa’s game time was cut short last season. A serious knee injury, kept the defender’s appearances down to 17 for the season but his club managed to escape the threat of relegation on the final day. The player is still working on his recovery but has visited the Boro training ground on more than one occasion, as the club moved ahead of Watford and Everton, to get their man. Hopefully, Espinosa will be fit and ready for action sometime during the first few months of the season.
So what can Boro fans expect from Espinosa, once he is fit enough to take his place in the team? The defender certainly has a number attributes, with his physical presence being one. The Colombian is not afraid to get stuck in and is very good in the air, both defensively and as a threat in the opponent’s penalty area. Espinosa is a player who can lead and likes to do so by example, showing plenty of desire and willingness to work hard for the team. He will not be shy in coming forward, when Boro need a leader at the back.
Espinosa has all the characteristics of a good central defender but it remains to be seen, just how much of a set-back the knee injury will have, in terms of the impact he can make this season. Surely Boro would not sign a player, if there was any chance he would not recover fully and soon. Just how far behind he will be, especially in regards to settling in with training and his team mates, remains to be seen.
However, Bernardo Espinosa looks like a solid defender, who will certainly bring something to the team. Hopefully fans will not have to wait long in to the season, before seeing exactly what Espinosa can do in a Boro shirt.