It has been quite a month to be a Middlesbrough supporter, hasn’t it?
After witnessing their side miss out on a play-off spot on the final day of the 2018/19 campaign, the majority of the Smoggies faithful turned their backs on manager Tony Pulis who failed to deliver on his promise of securing Premier League football.
With his future looking increasingly uncertain, the 61-year-old decided to part ways with the club on May 17th upon the expiry of his existing deal.
Although chairman Steve Gibson will understandably be prioritising his search for a new manager over the coming weeks, regardless of who is in charge next season, it is imperative that he splashes the cash on one of the most exciting prospects in League One.
According to the Daily Star, Boro are one of several clubs who are reportedly interested in signing Portsmouth winger Jamal Lowe after being impressed by his performances last season.
A supremely gifted player, the 24-year-old would be somewhat of a coup for the Smoggies if they can convince to make the move to the Riverside Stadium this summer.
Keeping this rumour in mind, let’s compare Lowe with one of Boro’s current midfield ace’s…
Since joining Portsmouth in January 2017 from non-league side Hampton & Richmond Borough, Jamal Lowe has experienced a meteoric rise to stardom which has culminated in him becoming one of the most fearsome players in the third tier.
After helping his side achieve promotion from League Two just four months after making the switch to Fratton Park, the winger experienced a steady campaign during his first full year at the club before making waves last season.
In what was an incredible year for Lowe, he managed to fire in 15 goals whilst also providing nine assists for his team-mates as Pompey finished fourth in League One.
Although he was powerless to stop the club’s elimination from the play-offs earlier this month, it is glaringly obvious that the winger is more than capable of making the step in level next season and so Boro should be making him their number one target over the coming months.
TT GRADE: A
Undoubtedly a hero to many at the Riverside Stadium for his contributions to the club during his career, Stewart Downing is a player who will go down in the history books as one of Boro’s all-time greats.
Having been part of the now infamous squad which won the League Cup in 2004 and reached the UEFA Cup final in 2006, the winger has not quite reached the same heights since returning to the North Yorkshire four years ago.
Despite helping his side secure promotion to the Premier League in 2016, Downing’s powers have waned somewhat in recent times with his performances in the 2018/19 campaign leaving a lot to be desired.
Now 34-years-old, it could be argued that the former England international may need to step aside next season if the Smoggies are to achieve success in the Championship.
TT GRADE: B
Whereas Stewart Downing’s commitment over the years to Boro’s cause simply cannot be understated, if the club are serious about launching a bid for promotion next season, they must consider a move for Jamal Lowe.
Although he has no experience of playing in the Championship, the Pompey winger would undoubtedly be an incredible addition to the Smoggies’ squad as he all the ingredients needed to thrive at this particular level of football.
Boro fans, should Gibson splash the cash on Lowe this summer? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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