11 incredible Premier League moves to Middlesbrough in light of recent signings
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | July 12, 2016
Marquee signings and Middlesbrough go as well together as a Parmo and chips at the end of a night out on Teesside.
Their last Premier League stints (1995-97 and 1998-2009) were littered with deals that Boro’s loyal fanbase into raptures, leaving neutrals scratching their heads thinking how on earth chairman Steve Gibson managed to pull them off.
From the international stars discussed below to homegrown names such as Paul Gascoigne and Paul Ince, players have been lured to the Northeast by the prospect of top-flight football.
Now that they’ve returned to the Premier League following a seven-year absence, Coral’s 13/10 relegation chances Middlesbrough have already reverted to type when it comes to recruitment.
Negredo, Fischer and Valdes tip of iceberg
As if landing highly-rated Denmark winger Viktor Fischer from Ajax wasn’t incredible enough, Boro have also attracted World Cup and Champions League winning goalkeeper Victor Valdes to The Riverside for free, followed by the most recent signing of Spain striker Alvaro Negredo from Valencia.
Manager Aitor Karanka used his Spanish connections to poach former Manchester City marksman and triumphant Euro 2012 La Roja squad member Alvaro Negredo on loan from Los Che. Will this prove to be among the best-ever Middlesbrough transfer window signings? Only time will tell.
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) July 20, 2016
These are just the latest in a long list of high-profile arrivals at Middlesbrough during the last 20 years. It’s got us feeling all nostalgic, so here are some terrific Teesside transfers we consider to be among top Boro tips.
Croatia forward Boksic first shot to prominence as Rudi Voller’s strike partner during a Champions League winning campaign for Marseille in 1992/93 when he also finished as Ligue 1 top scorer, but is best known for his stint in Serie A with Lazio (twice) and Juventus.
Scooping the Scudetto with both and enjoying Cup Winners’ Cup and Coppa Italia glory during his days in Rome, Boksic signed for Boro aged 30 in 2000, having missed the 1998 World Cup through injury. Fitness problems plagued his time in the Northeast.
Grabbing a dozen Premier League goals in his maiden campaign, however, saw The Riverside’s faithful name Boksic as their Player of the Year. He remained with Middlesbrough until he retired from playing in 2003.
Cameroon holding midfielder Geremi had two Champions League winners’ medals and a La Liga title to his credit before being loaned to Boro by Real Madrid for the 2002/03 season.
While those club credentials are considerable, Geremi was also part of the Indomitable Lions squads that twice won the Africa Cup of Nations and went to the 2002 World Cup.
His steady displays at his temporary home allowed Geremi to move on to Chelsea permanently, having scored seven Premier League goals for Middlesbrough and even done a decent job playing at right back.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Current QPR boss Hasselbaink was once a coup capture for Boro, having twice won the Premier League Golden Boot, and they beat off competition from Fulham and Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic for his services on a free transfer in 2004.
Then aged 32, Hasselbaink showed age was now barrier to scoring goals in his two seasons at The Riverside, netting 34 times in 89 appearances across all competitions.
Sadly the Dutchman’s club career was often about being a runner-up, but Hasselbaink is a hero to Middlesbrough because of his goals in their memorable run to the 2006 UEFA Cup final where they were beaten by competition specialists Sevilla.
Joining Boksic in signing for Boro in 2000 was defensive player Karembeu, who helped France lift both the World Cup and Euros.
Like Real Madrid teammate Geremi, he was also something of a surprise source when it came to Premier League goals with four during his only campaign in England.
During his Bernabeu stint, Karembeu captured a couple of Champions League successes too. Bryan Robson sure attracted some big names during his days as Middlesbrough manager.
Imagine being the first Serie B player to make your international debut for Italy in 70 years. That’s what Empoli icon Maccarone managed prior to arriving at Boro for a reported fee of over £8m in the summer of 2002.
Also scoring some important goals in that run to the 2006 UEFA Cup final, Maccarone’s status as a cult hero among The Riverside support is assured, even if his overall performances at Middlesbrough were lacking.
Basque Country native Mendieta took in some of European football’s more desirable destinations, namely Valencia, Lazio and Barcelona, before joining Boro initially on loan in 2003.
If only he could’ve stayed fit, the Spaniard may have inspired Steve McClaren’s team. Two UEFA Cup final outings while with Los Che mean Mendieta’s career was a so-nearly story.
Back to Italy, but a more established striker this time in Ravanelli who left Juventus as a Champions League winner to join Middlesbrough for £7m in 1996.
Netting an incredible 31 goals in all competitions, his 16 Premier League strikes weren’t enough to save Boro from relegation in 1997 and Ravanelli soon moved to Marseille.
He would later return to England with Derby County, but once again suffered the bitter taste of going down.
As far back as 1994/95, right back Reiziger was winning silverware with Eredivisie and Champions League glory with Ajax. Later joining Barcelona via AC Milan, he came to Middlesbrough on a free in 2004.
Yet another big name signing to struggle with injuries on Teesside, Reiziger returned to his native Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven to see out his playing career.
Far be it from Boro to benefit from the financial misfortunes of Yorkshire rivals Leeds United, but when the Elland Road outfit were relegated from the Premier League in 2004 they picked up Australia frontman Viduka in the firesale.
The Socceroos star controversially switched to Tyneside foes Newcastle United after three years at The Riverside, during which time Viduka knocked in 42 goals in just over 100 outings across all competitions.
In Dutch winger Zenden, Middlesbrough actually helped an injury-prone player rediscover his touch and form, giving him the chance to put a string of games together, having struggled at Chelsea.
Joining some of the above as being on loan at first in 2003, Zenden’s 15 goals from the flank across two campaigns with Boro allowed him to rebuild his career and go on to play for Liverpool and Marseille before finishing up at Northeast rivals Sunderland.
Germany left wing back Ziege moved from Milan to Middlesbrough and stayed all too briefly, as his displays saw Liverpool come in for him just a season after signing in 2000.
Boro fans will be hoping that Fischer doesn’t end up using the club a springboard to get a top Premier League team to come in for him, but Karanka will want a similar impact from the Dane down the flanks.
Coral’s Premier League page is packed full of features like this one.