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Stealing From Premier League Relegation Candidates: Middlesbrough

Newcastle needs to add some talent, and what better place to look than the teams it could be replacing.

Middlesbrough v Manchester United - Premier League
Ben Gibson has been one of the best younger defenders in the Premier League this season.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Newcastle’s promotional push continues, fans continue to think about which players they could sign for next season. I have seen everything from Wayne Rooney, to Daniel Sturridge to Luke Shaw, but knowing Newcastle, they will be unwilling to splash the cash (as much as I would love to sign Luke Shaw).

Instead, the much more Mike Ashley thing to do would be to look at clubs being relegated from the Premier League and poach players from those teams who want to stay in the top division. Let’s look at the best options from the teams currently in the bottom five of the table. Today we will breakdown Middlesbrough.


In order to stay up next season, Newcastle will need to improve its defense. The easiest way to do that will be by stealing Ben Gibson away from Middlesbrough. The 24-year-old centre back has started all 29 of Boro’s games this season. There are just four teams who have allowed fewer goals in the Premier League this season. They are Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea. That’s pretty good company to be in. Gibson cannot take all of the credit, he is playing with Callum Chambers and in front of Victor Valdes, but he is the young leader of a very strong back four. He would be a piece for Rafa Benitez to build his defense around. Gibson and DeAndre Yedlin could be the start of an incredible young defense.

Newcastle are also in desperate need of some midfield players, particularly in the middle of the pitch. Middlesbrough has an experienced attack-minded midfielder in Gaston Ramirez who will likely want to stay in Premier League if Boro go down. He has a tremendous amount of international experience despite being just 26 years old. His familiarity and experience at the position though make him worth looking into. The Magpies have had no one to consistently play at attacking midfielder. Ramirez would be a cheap solution to solve the problem. The Uruguayan joined Boro on a free transfer last summer. I can’t imagine that they will be looking for a tremendous amount to sell him on.

Sticking with the theme of international midfielders, Marten de Roon would be a great way to bolster the midfield for Newcastle. The Netherlands international is a true center midfielder who can play box to box and acts as a ball-winner. He made his international debut in November and could be in line for more appearances going forward. At 26 and just a year removed from playing Italian side Atalanta, de Roon possesses the ability to slot in next to Jonjo Shelvey and start just about every game. He could be more expensive having joined last summer for £15 million, but with Boro going down, the number could stay somewhere in the vicinity.

With just one more team to look at, make sure you tune in tomorrow to check out which players from arch rival Sunderland could be used to make Newcastle better.