Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mr Versatile

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mr Versatile

Article excerpt

New boy Emanuel Pogatetz may save Boro chairman Steve Gibson a bit of cash.

The 22-year-old's revelations that he is equally at home at left-back or centre-back provides the squad with valuable defensive versatility.

It also means that the pressure is relieved somewhat on Steve McClaren as the manager continues his search for a quality centre back.

McClaren had wanted to bring in another top defender to contest the two central roles with Gareth Southgate, Ugo Ehiogu and Chris Riggott.

Now Pogatetz offers cover for both centre-back and left-back, which could save Gibson a few bob in the transfer market.

Pogatetz revealed this week that not only has he played centre-back at all of his previous clubs, but he has also played there for Austria.

At the age of 22 he is already an experienced international, and looks a superb signing provided he can adapt to life in the Premiership.

Boro have no doubts that he will fit the bill. Pogatetz was identified some time ago as a great prospect and everybody at Boro is delighted to be able to bring him here.

It seems incredible that Pogatetz was not a regular for his club, Beyer Leverkusen, who signed him when he was only 17.

However the Germans are currently cash strapped and were looking to earn some cash from the player's sale.

Boro will pay a fee which could rise to pounds 1.8m depending on appearances.

While Pogatetz comes in as cover, he is certainly not here just for the ride.

In fact Franck Queudrue can expect a battle royal to hang on to the left-back spot.

Pogatetz, who speaks excellent English, said: "I want to be very successful with Middlesbrough.

"Obviously I believe that I am good enough to play in the Premier League, or I would not be here.

"I want to help Middlesbrough to improve and to do very well in the future. …

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