You wait for one goalkeeper to leave a relegated club and then two depart almost at once, that is exactly what has happened at Middlesbrough with the news that Victor Valdes is to leave the Riverside Stadium along with Brad Guzan.
The former Aston Villa ‘keeper Guzan had already agreed a move to new Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United at the start of the year but the 35 year old Victor Valdes has decided that a stint in the EFL Championship next season is not for him.
With that in mind both he and Middlesbrough have come to the mutual agreement that the former Barcelona legend can depart the club a year earlier than the initial length of his contract was initially signed for.
Valdes made 28 appearances for ‘Boro this season although missed the last few games of the season due to injury in which the other outgoing goalkeeper Guzan deputised between the sticks.
With the club suffering the ignomy of relegation they will no doubt be a large overhaul in the summer for whoever ends taking charge of the club on a full time basis and these two players are not the first to leave the North East.
Alvaro Negredo’s somewhat disappointing loan stint has come to an end and he returns to his parent club Valencia having only scored 7 times in 29 league appearances. He may not have found the net with startling regularity but he will go back to Spain a rich man after earning a reported £100k a week.
So it comes as no surprise that chairman Steve Gibson is cutting the cloth and getting rid of the clubs highest earners as they now plan for life in England’s second tier, the next question of course is just who will be the man to take over from Aitor Karanka on a permanent basis.
Steve Agnew did an ok job but in fairness the task of keeping them up was always going to be a large one and you could argue that the rot had well set in by the time the former Leicester and Sunderland midfielder was given the reigns back in March.
Whether Agnew gets a full crack at the whip remains to be seen but I would imagine that the squad that starts the 2017/18 campaign will be a lot different to the one that was consigned to relegation from the Premier League. Middlesbrough are going to now have to look at players who can do the one sole job of getting them out of the Championship at the first time of asking.
It seems as if the squad they had this season was one that was good enough to get out of that level but not good enough to make the step up to the top flight and establish themselves as a credible Premier League outfit. A summer of charge is certainly in the midst on Teesside.