Since taking over as Middlesbrough manager at the start of the month, there has been a lot of press speculation that Garry Monk has had his eye on signing a new goalkeeper but do Boro really need one?
After relegation to the Championship Middlesbrough decided to release last season’s number one keeper Victor Valdes after both parties decided it was for the best.
Valdes kept nine clean sheets in 30 games last season and put in a number of MOTM performances for the Teessiders and will most certainly get a move to another club over the summer.
Brad Guzan was the understudy goalkeeper to Valdes last season and it’s fair to say he didn’t have such a great time on Teesside keeping just three clean sheets in 10 games and making the most errors leading to goals (2) for the Boro throughout the course of the season.
Guzan made his last appearance for the club in an 3-0 away defeat against Liverpool on the last game of the season as he had already made an agreement in January to join MLS side Atlanta.
So what keepers do Boro have left at their disposal?
Left at the club are; Connor Ripley, Dimi Konstantopoulos and Tomas Mejias.
Last season Connor Ripley spent the season out on loan at League One side Oldham Athletic.
In 46 games Ripley kept 18 clean sheets and won the player of the season award for Oldham as well as being named as the best keeper in the League by being included in the League One team of the season.
Speaking to the official Middlesbrough website since returning to the club, Ripley has gone on to say:
“Next season is a big one for me. I want to stay here and fight for my position.
“I think I’ve done the hard work going out on loan to Sweden, Scotland and now Manchester. Now it’s time for me to be a Boro player and fight for my position.”
Another keeper Monk has at his disposal is the ever reliable Dimi Konstantopoulos.
Dimi is a fan favourite on Teesside after his heroics in the the clubs promotion season and fans feel it was harsh on the Greek keeper who kept 22 clean sheets in 46 games the last time the club were in the Championship.
The Greek giant has just recently signed a new one year deal at the club and he’ll be hoping to impress Monk and get a chance to reclaim the number one spot.
And last but not least there’s Tomas Mejias.
The former U21 Spanish international has had a bit of tough time since joining Middlesbrough from Real Madrid way back in 2014.
Spending the second half of last out on loan at Rayo Vallecano, Mejias would endure more frustration as he only made two appearances conceding in both games, now back on Teesside Mejias will be hoping to make an impression on the new manager.
Mejias does have the ability to be a good keeper which he has shown in cup games against, Everton, Man United and Man City in recent years but it’s his stumbling start to life at the club which Boro fans still haven’t forgotten about.
So does Garry Monk need to sign a new keeper?
For me no, unless Mejias leaves then Boro will need a new keeper but nothing more than a loan signing who is happy to stand in if someone gets injured.
I believe in Ripley and Dimi that Boro have enough quality in the goalkeeping department to win promotion.
By Jake Self