Middlesbrough: Chris Wilder admits struggles to sign striker
CHRIS WILDER is hoping to sign three new strikers before the transfer window closes, but the Middlesbrough boss admits it is proving difficult to sign the forwards he is targeting.
While Boro made three new additions this summer, with a move for free agent Tommy Smith also in sight, the club were unable to land a striker.
They held talks with David McGoldrick, who is a free agent after leaving Sheffield United at the end of last season, and also held talks over possible moves for Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle, striker of Southampton Adam Armstrong and Coventry City striker Viktor Gyokeres. However, with the start of the new league season less than a month away, they have yet to make an attacking breakthrough.
With Andraz Sporar, Aaron Connolly and Falorian Balogun gone at the start of the summer, and with Uche Ikpeazu and Chuba Akpom having been told they had no future at Teesside, Josh Coburn and Duncan Watmore are currently the only senior strikers from Boro. books.
Wilder admits it was difficult to break through, but after a discussion with chairman Steve Gibson last Thursday, the Boro boss remains confident he will get there in the end.
“There have been a lot of enquiries,” said Wilder, who saw his side kick off their pre-season program with a 5-0 victory at Bishop Auckland on Saturday. “But I think it’s (forward) probably the most difficult position to fill.
“We had a meeting with the chairman on Thursday, and he’s just as ambitious and enthusiastic about trying to get the players up the pitch. We understand we have to do that.
“We have Duncan and young Josh there, but historically I left with five players in that position. Riley could play as number ten if we needed him to do it, but we have to bring two or three, and we all know that.
“Kieran (Scott) certainly knows that, and he’s working upstairs as hard as ever, we all are. “Not much. I spoke to a buddy who works at Everton last week. They just moved Richarlison, and they’re really struggling to get anyone in, and it’s a huge club.
“We’re all after that player who can score 20 goals a season, but it’s such a tough gap to close. We still believe that the deeper we get into the window, the more waves we’ll make and attract people.
Wilder declined to discuss specific targets following Saturday’s friendly win at Heritage Park, although it is understood Boro has made an offer to McGoldrick, who scored 27 goals in his four seasons with Sheffield United.
“There will be names linked but I will never come out and talk about them until they wear the Middlesbrough shirt because so much can happen between talks and signing,” he said. he declares. “We are progressing well with some potential signings.
“A lot of clubs only came back this week, when we were back a week before. We are stepping it up. The players appreciate the work, we have had the first competitive game now. There is still a lot of work to be done. do and we will accelerate again next week on the training ground, indoors and in terms of recruitment.
“I’m delighted with where we are. I am delighted with the players we have signed and the additions we can potentially make, which are exciting.
“Everyone wants the players to be here and now, and to be there straight away, and obviously that would be ideal for me too. But it doesn’t happen by itself, it takes time. But we are well placed and we will continue to work.