Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has given his thoughts on Tottenham Hotspur youngster Milos Veljkovic.
Veljkovic completed a move to Middlesbrough yesterday, where he’ll play on loan for the next three months.
The highly rated Spurs youngster was used infrequently in the Tottenham first team last season and Karanka has revealed he’s going to be using the 19-year-old primarily as a defender.
“Milos is still a very young player but he one with a very high potential and for that reason we are happy he has joined us,” the Boro boss told Gazette Live.
“We believe he is a very good talent who can play either as a central defender or as a central midfielder and we think he will be a good fit for us.”
“He can play in midfield but for me is more of a central defender.”
“He has good qualities there as he is strong and athletic and can tackle but he can also pass the ball well. And he enjoys playing in defence too.”
One of the things Mauricio Pochettino will be looking for from his loan spell in the Championship is consistency.
It would be difficult for him to have an impact at Middlesbrough if Karanka used him across a range of positions on a frequent basis.
Playing consistently at centre-back will help Veljkovic further understand the position and become more effective in that role for when he returns to Tottenham at the end of the loan deal and any possible extension.
However, his comments suggest that he’s only going to use the youngster outside of central defence in exceptional circumstances, such as should the side get a number of injuries or accumulate suspensions.
Veljkovic can seriously improve his confidence as a defender and gain some momentum which only bodes well for Middlesbrough if they do need to use him in another position and Spurs for when he returns and looks to break into Pochettino’s first team.