Middlesbrough appear to be on a surge in the Championship, a surge that will have West Brom fans feeling sick. Middlesbrough have been thriving in recent weeks under the guidance of Tony Pulis at the Riverside Stadium. Boro are currently on a run of five games unbeaten, which has taken them into the play-off spots.
West Brom on the other hand, who sacked Pulis earlier in the season, look to be doomed at the foot of the Premier League table.
But with a potential swap between the two sides looking possible, should Middlesbrough look at bringing in a Polish star.
Grzegorz Krychowiak was signed by Pulis at West Brom at the start of the season. The former Sevilla man looked an exciting signing from Paris Saint-Germain on loan, where he had struggled for first-team football.
Not many West Brom players have come out of this season with much credit, but the Pole has shown some form. However, overall he has not played as well as West Brom fans would have expected for a player with his lofty reputation.
In the summer, Krychowiak is unlikely to join West Brom if they are playing Championship football next season. Despite his indifferent season he will consider himself too big a talent to play in the second-tier.
Middlesbrough though could be the answer. The Teessiders are in the hunt for promotion and Pulis is a fan of the player.
In October the Boro boss was still at West Brom. He stated, as reported by the club’s official Twitter account:
“Greg (Krychowiak) is an even better player than what he’s shown already. He’s really mixed in. His English is fantastic.”
The 28-year-old will be looking to find a new team in the summer and Pulis has tempted into a move once already.
If he can guide Boro into the Premier League then making a move for the 48-cap Polish star would be a wise move for Pulis in the summer.
Wolves signing Miguel Veloso would reunite him with long-time partner Joao Moutinho
The Portuguese pair formed a formidable partnership for both club and country and could potentially do similar at Wolves.
Wolves are being linked with a move for free agent midfielder Miguel Veloso. TEAMtalk are suggesting that the newly-promoted side are looking to add the 56-cap Portugal international to their fold this week. He is a free agent having left Genoa and Everton are reportedly also keen.
It would be an interesting signing for Wolves and one which, on paper, certainly makes sense. Veloso is represented by the Jorge Mendes ran Gestifute company. He is also a player with an illustrious record, winning titles with Sporting and Dynamo Kiev.
At Sporting he was considered one of Portugal’s most promising young talents. He was not alone in that respect. He came through to the first-team picture in Lisbon at the same time as another central midfielder, one Wolves fans will know very well.
Both Veloso and Joao Moutinho came through at Sporting in 2005. The pair went on to form a formidable partnership in the heart of Sporting’s midfield for the next five years. In 2010, both men left. Veloso headed to Kiev, whilst Moutinho made a controversial switch to Porto.
Moutinho went on to establish a reputation as one of the more consistent central midfielders in Europe.
So this summer, when Wolves signed him for a bargain fee of just £5 million, it was an eye-catching piece of business.
If they could also secure Veloso, the pair might be able to rekindle some of their old magic at Molineux.
Bielsa’s Engine Room: Kalvin Phillips continues to thrive in new Leeds role
The 22-year-old came through the Elland Road academy system.
After Marco Bielsa’s Leeds United continued their impressing winning start to the season this weekend, recording a 2-1 victory over Rotherham, several players are being highlighted for praise.
Among those who deserve the majority share of the plaudits is 22-year-old Kalvin Phillips, who continues to thrive in the playing style implemented by the club’s new boss.
A player capable of keeping it simple at the base of the midfield, Phillips has proven to be astute defensively and comfortable in possession – key traits for a player to thrive in the Argentine’s system.
Against Rotherham on Saturday, he registered 112 touches, more than any other player on the pitch and a personal best for the club.
He also completed the most passes on the day (88), recorded more interceptions than anyone else (six) and created two chances, one of which went down as an assist.
Rotherham marked a third exceptional Championship performance of the season for the youngster, with his movement and distribution keeping the ball ticking over in central midfield.
The academy talent is proving himself to be a force in central midfield for the Whites, quickly establishing himself as the lynchpin of the Bielsa revolution at Elland Road.
If Phillips can maintain this level of performance he will be integral in the club’s promotion push throughout the remainder of the season.
One to Watch: Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish at his creative best vs Ipswich
The Villa youngster was exceptional again this weekend.
Jack Grealish again proved why he is Aston Villa’s most important player in their attempt to gain promotion back to the Premier League with an excellent performance in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday.
The 22-year-old’s wonderful display was underpinned by the 28 passes he completed in the final third – which, according to WhoScored was more than any other player had managed in a single Championship game thus far this season.
Grealish also completed five key passes in the game, bringing his season total to 11 – more than any other player in the league other than Norwich’s Ben Marshall (also 11).
Furthermore, the Englishman completed five of his six dribbles in the game.
Steve Bruce spoke glowingly of Grealish this week on TalkSport.
“He’s arguably the best young player I’ve had in terms of ability. He can do something where he can lift you off your seat, he’s such a natural footballer and of course he’s grown up a bit,” the Aston Villa manager said.
“For me, he’s going to be a top, top player.”
It is hard not to agree with Bruce. Not only does it appear as though Grealish has matured greatly in the last 12 months, his performances since the turn of the year have been astounding – he has arguably been the division’s best player in that period.
His constant menacing against Ipswich was no different – he has started this season brightly.
If he can manage to help guide Villa to the Premier League, he may be there for the long-term.
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