With only 5 days before we find out just how Boro’s season is going to play out, the nightmarish realisation of life back in the Championship is quickly creeping up on us.
A hodgepodge of Victor Orta’s signings and Aitor Karanka leftovers, new manager Garry Monk’s squad will certainly have a different look to it come August 4, the start of the Championship season.
While many players will have left fans with feelings of frustration, there is one prodigal son for who there can be no bad words spoken against his holy name.
Local lad, owner’s nephew, England call-up and captain fantastic. Ben Gibson will be put on lock down by all fans who see him as our biggest hope to return to the dazzling capitalistic haven of the English Premier League.
Unfortunately for all Boro fans, Gibson is a wanted man, who looks ever so likely to move onto greener pastures. Here’s 5 reasons why Boro must demand a high fee for their most sought-after product.
BORO’S PRIZED HOMEGROWN POSSESSION
Having a well respected and facilitated youth academy, Boro have rolled off plenty of great players from their production line.
We’ve had Premier League title winners, fully-fledged-internationals and Lee Cattermole.
On a purely potential basis, Ben Gibson might just be the greatest of them all, or at least become it.
There’s a wonderful romanticism with developing your own crop and this factor contributes to this sense of ‘hero-worship’ we all share with Ben Gibson.
Boro have made him themselves and that’s why they should be able to dictate how much they want for him.
🗨️ GARRY MONK ON BEN GIBSON pic.twitter.com/u8kQszH3cK
— BoroStats™ (@boroform) June 12, 2017
FUTURE ENGLAND STAR
Gibson’s herculean efforts at the back, in a withering Boro side, did not go unnoticed. Ex-Boro boss and now England coach Gareth Southgate recognised Gibson’s form with a couple of call-ups to the national team.
Whilst Gibson hasn’t yet received that strange little velvet cap, adorning the three lions, it shouldn’t be too long before he will. The stigma around calling up Championship players is dropping away so Gibson won’t be too far from the squad wherever he plays.
The big great hope of English central defence, John Stones found himself seduced by Txiki Begiristain and Pep Guardiola and was whisked away to the land of Oasis and Jamie Pollock own-goals with Manchester City.
Go on, have a laugh…
Stones has flattered to deceive at City this past season and hardly staked a starting place in the England team and how much did he cost again?
£47 Million, ah yes, money well spent and it is for that reason that Boro do not back down from a high valuation of Gibson.
WE ARE NOT PUSHOVERS
With the financial implications of relegation well and truly terrifying in today’s game, i.e. Portsmouth, Blackpool. Teams will no doubt be preying on Boro in pursuit of Gibson.
Too many times in the past Boro have just allowed clubs to walk all over them in terms of players and transfer dealings. Blackburn holding Rhodes to ransom for a bigger fee, Fulham becoming greedy with McCormack and the overall smaller fees clubs cough up knowing fine and well Boro will just accept it.
This can be no more!
James Morrison is a 43 cap Scotland international, who was sold for a measly £2 Million, spending most of the last decade playing regularly in the Premier League, showing that Boro were better off keeping him.
Lee Cattermole, Boro’s youngest ever captain, and absolute lion-heart in midfield, was sold for the tiny sum of £3.5 Million, another to have spent his whole career in the Premier League, his career now is somewhat of a joke being painted as a 21st century Dennis Wise, largely due to clubs not understanding how to use him.
One of the greatest anomalies in world football is the price which English players, of a decent calibre, are continually signed for. Wayne Rooney cost £30 Million as an 18-year-old, Raheem Sterling cost more than Zinedine Zidane and I’ve already mentioned John Stones.
This phenomenon is referred to as ‘The English Premium’. The premium effectively destroys the transfer market on English players but allows smaller clubs to cash in on their organic talent at a much higher market value, think the money tree that they grow their players on over at Southampton.
Just this week Harry Maguire, a great battler for relegated Hull joined Leicester City for £17 Million. Maguire very nearly joined Boro last season for something closer to £6 Million, one good season in the Premier League multiplied by the English Premium and suddenly Hull find themselves with fatter bank accounts.
#lcfc are delighted to announce the signing of defender Harry Maguire! 📝
— Leicester City (@LCFC) June 15, 2017
Jordan Pickford, aside from Jermain Defoe and Bradley Lowery, was Sunderland’s shining light this season. A homegrown lad between the sticks trying valiantly to keep his side up. Unfortunately for him, he was playing behind one of the worst sides to have ever graced the Premier League. Pickford needn’t worry as he has taken that two and a half hour journey down to Goodison Park for £30 Million, a giant fee, only bettered in goalkeeping transfers by the great Gigi Buffon and Ederson.
So Gibson’s fee should follow the law of the English Premium and be nowhere near his true value but from the Boro perspective, this may help towards my next and final point….
I’m not talking giving the Riverside’s restaurants a nice refurbishment or to put a new pool table in at Rockcliffe put to spend all of it on some bloody good footballers.
Tottenham showed that reinvesting all of their Gareth Bale money into several lower qualities player didn’t work in the Premier League.
However, this is the Championship. A league in which transfer fees can hardly ever reflect value and ability. A league in which it is the norm to sign anywhere between 10 and 10,000 new players for the season, including loan deals of course.
Victor Orta was a high-profile disaster, as we all seem now seem to know. So let Garry Monk, with the help of some less vocal scouts, find themselves the gems to bring Boro back up.
So I tell you, the people of Ironopolis, we are going to lose our boy, but lets at least fleece the big boys for a dirty great stinking transfer fee and let’s take some bold risks. It took us nearly a decade to get back to our rightful place, let’s get there sooner this time.