Middlesbrough has spent the majority of its 144 yearlong existence in the Premier League. Never in its history has the club played at a lower tier of English football than the 2nd – the Championship. The club, frequently referred to as Boro, plays its home games at the Riverside Stadium. Middlesbrough’s most significant achievements are winning the League cup in 2004 and reaching a UEFA Cup Final in 2006, becoming runners-up to Sevilla.
Juninho Paulista from São Paulo for £5.5 Million in 1995 – Middlesbrough has done an excellent job scouting out Juninho, who played in the Brazilian club, São Paulo. Boro attracted the attacking midfielder for a fee of £5.5 Million in 1995. He found it hard to settle in England during his first season, making only 21 appearances and scoring two goals. However, in his second campaign with Middlesbrough, he became a regular starter playing in 48 matches and finding the net 15 times. This led to his transfer to Atletico Madrid in 1997. The sum agreed upon was £13.8 million, and he set the record for the most expensive player sold by Boro at the time. By the '90s' standards, the sum was enormous, and the English club netted in a serious profit.
Gareth Southgate from Aston Villa for £9.75 Million in 2001 – Famous for managing the English national football team, Southgate began his career with Crystal Palace, graduating from their youth academy. He made over 150 appearances in 7 years before moving on to Aston Villa. He played in a midfield position in Crystal Palace but converted to a center back in Aston Villa. In the summer of 2001, he was bought by Middlesborough for nearly £10 million. Southgate went on to play out the rest of his career with Boro. He became the squad's captain in 2002, following Paul Ince's departure for Wolverhampton wanderers. Surrounded by transfer gossip in 2004, he cleared all speculations regarding his possible move to Manchester United. He remained loyal to Middlesbrough and made his final appearance as a player in the 2006 UEFA cup final against Sevilla, which Boro lost 4-0.
Adama Traoré from Aston Villa for £8.25 Million in 2016- Traoré was brought up by Barcelona's youth academy but never really had the chance to play for the Catalans as he only made four appearances for Barca. Aston Villa was fascinated by the youngster and decided that spending 10 million euros for him was a good move, however, he turned out to be mainly a flop at Villa playing in just 11 matches. He was later bought by Middlesbrough for 8.25 million in 2016 and became a regular player for the team after proving himself. In his two years with Boro, Traoré played in 71 games, scoring five goals and making 13 assistances. This led to his transfer to the newly-promoted side Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2018. With the Wolves, he rose to prominence as arguably the fastest dribbler in the Premier League and scored memorable goals against Manchester City. Wolverhampton acquired Traoré for £20 Million, almost triple the money Middlesbrough originally spent for him.
Are Middlesbrough's best days behind them? With all the rumours and possible transfer news, this is highly unlikely. The English Championship is an interesting league.