Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Plenty More Where That Came from; Strikers Can Do Even Better - Cooper

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Plenty More Where That Came from; Strikers Can Do Even Better - Cooper

Article excerpt

THERE is much more to come from the Boro's four mainline strikers next season, promised Colin Cooper this week.

Gareth Southgate had to hurriedly assemble a new-look strike-force after losing first Mark Viduka and then Yakubu last summer.

He managed to land Turkey international Tuncay Sanli on a free transfer and invested heavily in Mido and Jeremie Aliadiere before the closure of the August window, and has since smashed the club's transfer record to capture pounds 12.7m Brazilian Afonso Alves.

All four men have shown flashes of the talent that persuaded Boro to recruit them, but both Southgate and Cooper believe the fans have so far seen only a fraction of what all four men can do.

Cooper said: "The likes of Tuncay and Jeremie Aliadiere have done a terrific job for the team this season.

"Hopefully with those two and Afonso - and hopefully we will get big Mido back over the summer - we will go into the new season with four strikers who want to do well for this club and want to prove themselves in this league.

"This is the first full season for Aliadiere in the league and he and Tuncay have obviously played the most this season.

"They have both earned a lot of pats on the back from me.

"We know in Afonso, we have a genuine goalscorer, and I would like to think with Mido, he would like to come back and show the people of Teesside what he has not been able to yet."

Of the four, 25-year-old A Frenchman liadiere was best able to hit the ground running having had experience, if a limited amount, of Premier League football before his pounds 2m switch from Arsenal.

His pace and work-rate have been impressive, although goals have been hard to come by - he had four to his name for the season going into today's derby at Sunderland.

Former Fenerbahce star Tuncay took time to adapt to life in England, but is currently two behind leading scorer Stewart Downing on six, while Mido started brightly with goals in each of his first two games following his pounds 6m transfer from Tottenham, but has been hampered by a troublesome groin injury since. …

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