Aitor Karanka’s comments suggest Jonathan Woodgate’s playing career is over

The playing career of former Leeds United, Newcastle United and Stoke City defender Jonathan Woodgate seems over.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has suggested on the club’s official website that Jonathan Woodgate’s playing career is over.

The former Leeds United and Newcastle United defender had been on the books of Middlesbrough since 2012, and his contract with the Championship outfit ran out at the end of June.

“I was speaking with him and the chairman is speaking with him,” Karanka told Middlesbrough’s official website.

“It’s about finding the best option for us and for Woody. Now, we’re focused on the new players, but we all know how important Woody is for the club.”

In the same article on Middlesbrough’s official website, it was stated: “Woodgate’s contract came to an end last month, and while the experienced central defender won’t be playing this coming season, Karanka says there may still be a role for him at the club and discussions are continuing.”

Good decision?

Woodgate’s time at Middlesbrough was severely affected by injuries. In fact, the centre-back’s entire playing career was plagued by fitness issues, and it should not come as a surprise to anyone that he seems to be on the verge of retirement.

It is best for the former Stoke City and Real Madrid defender if he retires and becomes part of Karanka’s coaching staff at Middlesbrough.

Woodgate’s experience and knowledge of the game would be important for Boro, as they look to bounce back from last season’s Championship playoff final disappointment.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch