Stoke City seem to have launched a bid for Middlesbrough’s charismatic central defender Ben Gibson. Mark Hughes is looking to bolster his defensive line which conceded an embarrassing 56 goals last season as their team finished outside the top 10.
The Boro centre-half had been one of the few silver linings at the club in their otherwise shambolic season which saw them get relegated after enduring only a year of top-tier English football.
The Englishman’s no-nonsense attitude at the back had earned him a fair amount of praise and accolades from experts and fans alike. The 24-year old had already established himself as a fan-favourite among the Teessiders and it seems like a fair bit of persuasion would be required from any club to lure him away from the Riverside Stadium, especially after the arrival of Garry Monk.
According to latest reports, the Potters have made a bid of £12m for the young Englishman but Boro are looking for a fee in the region of £20m to let go of their star defender.
The 24-year old had featured an astounding 41 times for the Teessiders in all competitions last season which goes to showcase the player’s outstanding form and fitness at the back. The player has also provided the team with a goal and an assist in the process.
The youngster captained the Smoggies 19 times last season which goes to show that the player has the desired skills and leadership qualities which is much needed for a central defender.
The Englishman’s overall pass success rate of 84.6% is nothing short of outstanding and it goes to exalt the player’s ability to pick out players up front and build up players from the back, another added quality much desired in modern day defenders.
The Boro man is also quite staunch at defending the backline which is evident from his tackle success rate of 79.48% and total interceptions of 57 for the club last season.
The player’s only drawbacks, if any, would be his lack of aerial presence and crossing techniques which could be a little bit better and needs improving. (Stats via WhoScored)
What’ll he offer the club?
Mark Hughes needs to seriously infuse some vigour and exuberance for the Potter at the back, something they had been lacking all throughout the season. The 24-year old would not only infuse some energy into their ageing backline but would also provide them with a touch of composure and calmness at the back.
Also, being only 24 years old, he might end up as a long-term prospect at the club.
Worth the money?
Did we all forget the £50m Man City paid for John Stones? Ok, not actually comparing the two, the point of the statement being that English players do cost a tad bit too much when it comes to the transfer market and Gibson would certainly not be an exception in this regard.
The £20m tagline is much justified seeing the fact that he is the star player in Boro’s otherwise mediocre squad and also would be a long-term buy for any club.