Middlesbrough is quietly assembling a decent squad for its Premier League return in 2016-17.
On Wednesday ‘Boro announced the signing of Alvaro Negredo on a season-long loan deal from Valencia.
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Negredo, 30, last played in the PL for Manchester City where he scored 23 goals in 48 appearances, while also winning the Premier League title and League Cup in 2013-14.
He has also scored 10 times in 21 appearances for the Spanish national team and the man known as “The Beast of Vallecas” also won EURO 2012 with Spain.
The former Sevilla striker started brightly at City but was initially sent out on loan to Valencia in 2014, who then bought him permanently in the summer of 2015. After falling out with manager Nuno Espirito Santo his time at the Mestalla was up and down but Negredo’s pedigree as a goalscorer is clear as he has 112 goals in 264 La Liga appearances, with his most successful coming with Sevilla from 2009-13.
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‘Boro have revealed that Negredo has joined up with Aitor Karanka’s team during their preseason tour of Spain and the deal will be confirmed when all of the relevant paperwork is complete. He had a lean period at City, failing to score from january 2014 until the end of the season, but his aerial ability is strong and when he’s on form he’s capable of hammering shots home and holding up the ball.
Negredo joins fellow Spaniards Victor Valdes and Antonio Barragan, plus playmaker Gaston Ramirez, $15 million Dutch midfielder Marten de Roon, striker Viktor Fischer and defender Bernardo Espinosa. With Stewart Downing, Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent also around, Middlesbrough now possess some exciting attacking talents who could surprise the PL.
Quietly Karanka is getting on with his business as the Riverside club aim to kick on after taking seven years to get back to the promised land of the Premier League.