Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder feels he has the full support of owner Steve Gibson for the forthcoming summer transfer window, saying as much in a recent interview.
Boro reviewed some significant changes last summer in their effort to become more competitive, with Neil Warnock bringing in 12 new players as he attempted to return the Championship club to the Premier League.
In November, he was replaced by Wilder, who was also given the opportunity to bolster his team further during the winter by bringing in four players in total.
Though Caolan Boyd-Munce may be a long-term prospect, Aaron Connolly, Folarin Balogun, and Riley McGree are all anticipated to make significant contributions to the cause between now and the conclusion of the season, when a play-off berth is possible.
Boro could benefit from that investment in the summer, especially if they stay in the second division and must adhere to the EFL’s profitability and sustainability regulations.
Rivals in the league Reading will have to work within a restrictive budget next season after exceeding the restrictions set by the governing body, a stark warning to those tempted to break the rules in a desperate bid to reach the top flight.
Despite this, Boro manager Wilder is optimistic that additional investment will be made in the coming months, with Gibson possibly having the financial flexibility to make more changes to the first-team squad.
“The boys have all done well,” Wilder remarked, “but it’s a tough industry, and we’ve all got different personalities.” He knows how I operate, and he’ll support me and do whatever it takes to have it looking the way we all want it to.”
The club appears to be on the rise, so Gibson’s willingness to back Wilder, who has previously led Sheffield United and other clubs to glory, is unsurprising.
Even without permanent departures, there are a few areas that need to be addressed, including the goalkeeping position, where Joe Lumley hasn’t exactly done himself justice this season, and the forward department, where Connolly, Balogun, and Andraz Sporar are all set to return to their parent clubs.
That presents a significant issue for Boro’s recruitment squad, and those out of contract must also be addressed, as the prospective departures of Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier might leave them short of choices at centre-back.
However, regardless of which tier they find themselves in next season, the club should already have a rough sense of who will and will not be staying, allowing them to move fast and decisively to secure targets.