Top notch youngster benefiting from regular run in Boro side.
An exodus of a number of Middlesbrough’s first-team players was inevitable following their relegation to the Championship, but manager Gareth Southgate hopes he can keep hold of the club’s star players for the foreseeable future.
Johnson was linked with a number of Europe’s elite clubs over the summer as, combined with apparent interest from Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, the 22-year-old midfielder was rumoured to be on Real Madrid’s 25-strong shortlist of wingers.
However, Southgate now feels that would-be buyers have little chance of securing Johnson as he has given the player assurances of regular football following Stewart Downing’s departure to Aston Villa. (Goal.com)
Some would suggest that both Tottenham and Liverpool could do with some help on their left flank and perhaps a decent long term solution to both their prospective problems would be a move for the fast improving £11m rated 22 year old.
Tottenham have done very well to place Luka Modric out on the left since Harry Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane, it’s a tactic that has worked very well but the Croat isn’t an out and out winger and could probably be played just as effectively as the advanced midfielder or even as a player in the whole behind the strikers. Also Luka has a long term injury and the Spurs boss has been looking at potential cover players such as Martin Petrov to fill the gap.
Liverpool have experienced dissapointment with the likes of Ryan Babel and to a lesser extent Albert Riera and have on occasion opted for using Yossi Benayoun as a makeshift solution but the Israeli showed his worth in a more floating role against Burnley, where he was used as a more centrally positioned attacking midfielder, a move that clearly paid dividends with the former West Ham man netting a hat-trick.
Gareth Southgate will hope that his young Middlesbrough star will be happy to stay at the Riverside now that Stewart Downing has left but he must surely be greatly noting the attention he is receiving from Premier League clubs as well as giants from the continent and the Boro boss will find it hard to keep hold of the talented winger, especially if they’re promotion challenge falls away.
A move for the English youngster also ties in well with the recent announcement regarding the Premier League’s homegrown ruling and both Harry and Rafa will be looking extra closely at any bright young talent who adheres to the latest ruling.