When Middlesbrough announced the signing of Darren Randolph on the May 22, it was met with very mixed reactions.
Some fans were underwhelmed by the signing, saying we should give either the young Connor Ripley or the experienced Dimi Konstantopoulos a chance between the sticks for our promotion campaign.
However, other fans – like myself – were impressed with the capture of the experienced Irish international and especially at a price of £5 million, it seems like a steal in today’s market.
The ex-Birmingham and West Ham man brings a wealth of experience to the club, after having made over 300 club career appearances at many different levels and 23 caps at international level for Ireland including attendance at the 2016 European Championships.
He made 29 appearances last season in the Premier League in the absence of the out of form Adrian, keeping 6 clean sheets in the process. Randolph made a total of 79 saves in those games, also saving one penalty. The Bray born international also made over 45 high claims, punches and catches.
The statistics shown here are quite impressive when you consider how poor West Ham’s defending was at times last season.
So far, Randolph has impressed in his debut season as a red, winning over the fans with some very solid and convincing goalkeeping.
He has kept 5 clean sheets in the 8 games he has played, making 18 saves. The most memorable of these has to be from the team’s dismal display against Preston, where it is argued his saves and outstanding performance saved us the point.
During the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, in which we were reduced to 10 men, he made some exceptional saves which undoubtedly kept us in the game. He also currently holds a very impressive 100% claim success rate.
— 📊 ʙᴏʀᴏꜱᴛᴀᴛꜱ™ WC2018 (@boroform) September 14, 2017
Furthermore, he has also formed very strong partnerships with his back four, linking up exceptionally with fellow countryman Cyrus Christie and the Boro born centre-back partnership of Ben Gibson and Dael Fry. He has proven to be a very commanding goalkeeper, as he is often seen commanding his box on corners and bossing his back four around during defensive situations.
His accurate distribution has also been noted by the Boro faithful, as his 54% pass completion rate shows us how his goal kicks and passing often reaches its target and can go on to build promising moves.
Despite it only being early days, Randolph looks to be a fantastic addition to Garry Monk’s promotion challenging squad. His consistency and convincing displays continue to impress the Riverside crowds and I’m sure we all hope this can continue for the remainder of the season and he can grow into a fan’s favourite throughout his stay on Teesside.
— The Good The Bad The Boro ⚽️🔴⚪️ (@GoodBadBoro) September 16, 2017