When Middlesbrough announced that they had completed the singing of George Saville from Millwall last summer, their supporters had every right to be excited about the move.
A mainstay in the Lions’ starting eleven during the 2017/18 campaign, the midfielder fired in an impressive total of ten goals for Neil Harris’ side as they secured a superb eighth place finish in the Championship.
Although he was somewhat of a fans favourite at The Den, Saville decided that he was in need of a new challenge and was convinced that a switch to North Yorkshire would be highly beneficial for his career.
With Boro revealing that they had finally got a deal over the line to bring in the Northern Ireland international on transfer deadline day, loads of their supporters took to Twitter to express their joy at the news.
— John Cutler (@smoggie1976) August 31, 2018
In my opinion a great signing
— Gaza (@TucovBlondie) August 31, 2018
Best till last?
— Paul Smith (@smudge_mfc) August 31, 2018
— Kieran (@KJA_mfc) August 31, 2018
Welcome mate! #UTB yes lad
— McQuill (@McQuill_) August 31, 2018
Saved, my word what a window
— Thomas Miklós Watson (@MiklosWatson) August 31, 2018
well done boro!
— on_a_journey (@gatesofdis) August 31, 2018
— The Chicken Run (@ayresome_south) August 31, 2018
After the Smoggies narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League in 2018, Saville must have been confident that he could provide the spark needed to get them over the line this season.
Yet despite making a positive start for his new side, the 25-year-old ultimately failed to deliver the goods for Boro in his debut campaign as Tony Pulis’ insistence of playing him in a number of different positions clearly hampered his development.
Although Saville did produce stand-out performances against Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, the fact that he only managed to score four goals and provide one assist in 40 Championship appearances indicates that he clearly needs to improve on his end product during the 2019/20 campaign.
Having failed to qualify for the play-offs this year following a dismal run of results in March and April, Boro will be hoping that a change in management will result in them being successful next season.
However, regardless of who is brought in to replace Tony Pulis this summer, Saville will have to prove his worth to the club’s supporters as he has yet to justify why the Smoggies decided to shell out £8m for the midfielder (via London News Online).
Boro fans, what were your thoughts when Saville initially signed? Join the discussion by commenting below.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!