Chelsea head Ben Gibson next club tips
FootyOn look at Ben Gibson next club tips after current club Middlesbrough are relegated and Chelsea lead the market.
The pain of Premier League relegation has hit Boro locals hard, and none more so than captain Gibson.
Nephew of Teesside outfit chairman Steve, Ben has opened to the national press about the bitter feeling of going straight down.
Candidly describing relegation as the “lowest point” in his life, Gibson said: “After the highs of last season, to be honest we’ve wasted an opportunity to play in the best league in the world.
“We have to reflect. We have to put it right and make sure we come back stronger. The chairman and those fans, they deserve Premier League football.”
Interim boss Steve Agnew was non-committal about his future at The Riverside when relegation was confirmed with a 3-0 away defeat by champions-elect Chelsea.
Although Gibson is clearly Middlesbrough through and through, the 24-year-old will have won a lot of admirers during his maiden Premier League campaign.
If he is to have a senior international career, however, then staying in the top-flight is a must.
We assess the betting and give Ben Gibson next club tips.
Conte could well need another centre back at Blues
Chelsea captain John Terry is leaving Stamford Bridge this summer and a legacy that guarantees him legendary status.
There is also talk of Blues boss Antonio Conte sending France international Kurt Zouma out on loan to rebuild form and fitness after recovering from a serious knee injury.
Gary Cahill and David Luiz are both 30 plus now as well, so there is long-term planning to think of in the Chelsea defence.
Although Conte recalled Gibson’s fellow left-footer Nathan Ake from a spell at Bournemouth in January, he has played just eight minutes of Premier League football since.
Given some of the gutsy displays we’ve seen from him in a Middlesbrough shirt, Gibson certainly has similar if not more promise than Ake.
There seems to be an opening there at the Bridge for the taking.
Leicester City looking for younger legs too
Former Premier League champions Leicester have avoided relegation, but got a taste for European football with their Champions League adventure.
The Foxes’ central defence, in particular, is ageing with all senior permanently contracted players aged 30 and over.
Veteran ex-Poland international Marcin Wasilewski is out of contract at the King Power Stadium this summer.
Robert Huth, meanwhile, is entering the final year of his contract.
Leicester skipper Wes Morgan is now 33 and hasn’t been at his best, also missing the last eight league games with a back problem.
Gibson, who could cost as much as £30,000,000 according to reports, would make for a statement signing from the Foxes’ wealthy Asian investors.
Such a statement of intent would remind fans that efforts are being made to at least try and challenge again.
West Bromwich Albion need to strengthen squad
Across the Midlands at The Hawthorns, meanwhile, is a close-knit Baggies team.
So close-knit in fact, that Tony Pulis barely has the strength-in-depth to name a bench full of senior players.
Veteran Gareth McAuley – 38 before 2017 is out – continues to marshal the Albion defence.
Gibson may even be used at left back, given that West Brom are lacking in a natural fit for that berth.
Pulis has never splashed out the kind of money that is talked about for Gibson, so may go for alternative targets.
A marquee move made by the Baggies owners would show they mean business, though.
Premier League elites also possible
North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool have all also been linked with him in the tabloids.
It is hard to see Gibson ousting the current options at any of these Premier League big boys, perhaps with the exception of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
Dejan Lovren has signed a new deal at Anfield, however, and the priority is recruiting a left back rather than another centre half.
Man City are also preoccupied with the search for renewal in the full back berths.
Gibson looks like being little more than a squad player at the Gunners.
His temporary Boro defensive partner Calum Chambers serves as a cautionary tale in that regard.
At Spurs, meanwhile, there is no breaking up Belgium duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, who are established starters for club and country.
Loyalty to Middlesbrough may also hold Gibson back, so this local lad faces a difficult decision this summer.
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