With the transfer window in full swing, HITC Sport takes a look and some of the best and the worst Middlesbrough signings.
Over the years, we've seen many spectacular and strange signings in the transfer window. Moves that have amazed and mystified fans and journalists alike, along with the occasional "hidden gem" or the odd "flop". Middlesbrough are one club who have been subject to all of the above over the years, and so, HITC Sport has decided to take a look at some of the best and the worst of the Boro's transfer business.
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson
In October 1995, Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson brought in Brazilian playmaker Juninho Paulista from Sao Paulo. Known as the "Little Fella" amongst the Boro faithful, Juninho quickly won the hearts of Middlesbrough fans with his incredible skills and tricks, as well as his goals and free-kicks. Now widely regarded as one of the greatest players in Middlesbrough's history, Juninho is arguably top of the list when it comes to Boro's greatest ever signings.
Juninho Paulista - Middlesbrough
Becoming Steve McClaren's first signing as Middlesbrough manager, Gareth Southgate joined Boro from Aston Villa in 2001. Becoming the club's captain, Southgate epitomised that Steve McClaren side; full of a never-say-die attitude and passionate for the club, and even captained the side to their first major trophy, lifting the League Cup in 2004. Making his final appearance for Middlesbrough in their UEFA Cup final display against Sevilla in 2006, Gareth Southgate would go on to manage the club for three years after his retirement. Now the England manager, it can be suggested that much of his footballing philosophy will have been shaped in Middlesbrough.
England manager Gareth Southgate
In 1999, Middlesbrough brought in the former Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince. Linking up with his former team mate, Bryan Robson, Paul Ince became the Middlesbrough captain, and enjoyed three successful seasons with the club, making over 100 appearances and scoring 9 goals. The signing of Ince showed a real change in culture at Middlesbrough, proving that they could bring in the big names and compete at the highest levels for players and places.
Paul Ince playing for England
After scoring an outstanding 45 goals in just 39 goals for Dutch side Heerenveen, Boro fans had high hopes Brazilian striker Alfonso Alves, when he joined the side in 2008. With the team struggling under Gareth Southgate, Middlesbrough had pinned a lot of their hopes for the season on the striker being a hit, and unfortunately that turned out not to be the case. Alves could not find the form which led to his record move, and with a haul of just four league goals the season turned out to be a disappointing one for both him and Middlesbrough, who were relegated to the Championship.
Middlesbrough's Afonso Alves
Upon relegation to the Championship, Middlesbrough knew they would need to put their striker worries behind them, and turned to the former Rangers and Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd. Scoring 101 goals in just 143 appearances for Rangers, the signs were looking good for Boyd, but after just 6 goals in 27 appearances for the club, the Scottish forward was shipped off to Nottingham Forest on loan. Now back at his first club, Kilmarnock, Kris Boyd has to go down on the list as another failed forward signing for Middlesbrough.
Kris Boyd - Kilmarnock
After struggling at Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough made the risky move to bring in Egyptian striker Mido in 2007. Struggling to fit in, and missing a lot of chances, was Mido's biggest problem according to fans who spoke to the HITC Youtube Channel back in November, and after just three years the Egyptian left the club permanently, after undergoing loan moves to four different clubs in that time.
Former Middlesbrough striker Mido