Alvaro Negredo of Middlesbrough
Aitor Karanka’s side have been one of the busiest in the transfer market this summer, bringing in a host of new players including Alvaro Negredo, Marten de Roon and former Barcelona man Victor Valdes.
Boro certainly have no intentions of dropping back down the Championship in 12 months' time, and against a decent Stoke side they put in a display worthy of Premier League status.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka before the match
Negredo scored Boro’s opener with a bundled close-range finish before Xherdan Shaqiri levelled somewhat out of the blue for the Potters in the second period via a 20-yard free-kick.
Commenting for the BBC during the game, Dublin insisted the hosts looked like an established top-flight side and praised the addition of former Manchester City forward Negredo.
“Middlesbrough don't look like a team that has just been promoted. They are getting a lot of players forward and they're good to watch,” Dublin explained.
“It could be the kind of season where Middlesbrough need to score ugly goals and Alvaro Negredo is the kind of centre-forward you sign to get those goals.”
Boro showed in glimpses over the past two seasons that they have the ability to compete in the top flight, knocking both Manchester United and Manchester City out of cup competitions.
The Teesside club may take a while before fully gelling after so many transfers this summer, but on today’s showing few would predict them to end up among the bottom three come the end of the season.