This article forms part of our Profit Players feature, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has turned out since being signed/sold and using statistical figures and statements from key figures to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Following their relegation from the Premier League in 2017, Middlesbrough prepared for the subsequent Championship campaign by signing goalkeeper Darren Randolph from West Ham for £5m, as reported by BBC.
It was a modest transfer deal when compared with the club record £15m that ‘Boro spent on Britt Assombalonga [as per ITV] in 2017, with Martin Braithwaite also joining that summer for around £10.19m, according to TransferMarkt.co.uk.
Randolph had made 22 Premier League appearances for West Ham in the season prior to joining Middlesbrough and he quickly became a regular at the Riverside Stadium, ever-present in the Championship in his first campaign on Teesside as ‘Boro reached the play-offs. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Victor Valdes was ‘Boro’s most used goalkeeper in the year before Randolph came, conceding 36 goals in 28 appearances (1.29 goals per game) and managing just eight clean sheets (28.57% of games) in the Premier League.
Randolph let in 47 goals in 50 appearances in 2017/18 (0.94 goals per game) and kept 18 clean sheets (36% of games), while last season he conceded 44 goals in 50 games (0.88 goals per game) and recorded 19 shutouts (38% of games), albeit at a lower level than Valdes. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
His figures for this season so far are less impressive, with eight goals conceded in seven games (1.14 goals per game) following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Reading, which was just his second clean sheet of the campaign.
His importance to Middlesbrough is reflected in his appearance in the Championship Team of the Season last term and the remarks of others at the club.
Teesside Live reported highly complimentary quotes from ‘Boro defender Ryan Shotton about the goalkeeper, saying: “You can talk about us as defenders digging in and doing our job or talk about the attackers working hard to help out as the first line of defence but your goalkeeper is going to be needed eventually, and whenever he’s called upon, Darren comes up with the goods.”
Also in Teesside Live, Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate described the 32-year-old as “the best keeper in this league”, adding: “It is not just his saves; he is a calming influence within the squad as one of the elder statesmen; that is why he is a top keeper and why he is Ireland’s No.1.”
Randolph recently started his 100th consecutive league match for the club in a 2-2 draw at Bristol City, an extraordinarily consistent run which has seen him concede less than a goal per game and achieve a clean sheet record of almost 40% – fantastic figures for a player who cost the club only £5m two years ago.
Middlesbrough fans, how much of a bargain do you think Randolph has been for just £5m? Give us your views in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!