According to a recent report from The Daily Star, Middlesbrough are interested in a move for defender Matt Targett. The 22-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League side Southampton and has done so since the early 2000s, having come up through the ranks at St Mary’s to go on and earn 42 appearances for the South Coast outfit.
Yet his seemingly lowly position in the pecking order at the top-flight outfit has reportedly attracted the interest of both Boro and indeed Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa, but it is imperative that Tony Pulis’ men get the better of the Midlands giants by winning the race for the £6.3 million-rated Premier League outcast (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, the Teessiders let left back Fabio leave the club during the summer window to leave George Friend as the only recognised player in that position, which heading into the long, hard slog that is the Championship season is quite a risk to take.
Like Boro, Villa are also somewhat short in that department given they have just former Swansea City man Neil Taylor as their only recognised left back, and having sought to land Bristol City’s Joe Bryan earlier in the summer, who Bruce admitted was just ’15 minutes’ away from signing for the Midlands giants, it’s clear that the Villans chief is looking to improve that area of the field.
As such, there is no doubting that both sides would benefit greatly from luring Targett away from Southampton, not least because the left back enjoyed a fine stint on loan at Fulham last term to help them return to the Premier League.
The former England Under-21 international joined the Cottagers on loan back in January of this year after making just two Premier League appearances for Southampton in the first half of the campaign, and he went on to shine for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men in appearing in all 21 of their Championship matches following his arrival, netting once and laying on two assists.
Thus, it’s clear that Targett was doing something right to earn regular football at the high end of the second tier last season, hence Fulham were reportedly keen on luring him back to the club this summer, so there is no reason why he couldn’t do a job for Pulis’ Boro.
Add in his experiences of helping a side win promotion, having lost just twice in his 21 appearances for Fulham last term, and his arrival would not only bolster the flagging left back department, but it’d also add a greater amount of know-how to a Middlesbrough squad seeking to return to the top-flight this term.
And the fact that Villa are also in the running for the Saints ace simply must prompt Boro to act fast and beat the Midlands giants to Targett’s signature in the final few weeks of the loan window.
Boro and Villa fans… what do you think? Let us know!