Why striker Aaron Connelly is keen to make a fresh start at Middlesbrough

NEW MIDDLESBROUGH signing Aaron Connolly is keen for his football to do the talking again after a testing 2021.

Keen to play: Brighton and Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly has joined Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Keen to play: Brighton and Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly has joined Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The Irishman has joined Boro on loan from Premier League outfit Brighton for the second half of the season, having made just six appearances in all competitions for Albion in 2021-22.

Connolly is set to be joined at the club by another top-flight striker in Folarin Balogun, with the Arsenal star set to complete his loan move to Boro shortly.

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During the past year, Connolly’s personal life away from the pitch has grabbed as many headlines as his displays on it.

Attacking options: Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder is also hopint to sign Arsenal's Folarin Balogun. Picture: Tony Johnson

The 21-year-old, who was propelled into the limelight as a teenager at Brighton in 2019, said: “I think in every game you have a point to prove.

“But I come to Middlesbrough to help the club, not to prove a personal point to anybody.

“I don’t think I need to prove anything.

“I just need to get back playing, doing what I love and scoring goals and helping the club.

“There has been stuff said in the media beforehand that is nothing to do with football.

“Most of it is false and you don’t have to believe everything you read. But it doesn’t put any more pressure on me. Every game you play your career could be at a crossroads – one minute you could be the best player at the club and the next everyone will want you out.”

Marc Bola has received a warning and will attend a face-to-face educational course over a historic homophobic social media post from when he was a teenager.

The Boro defender was charged by the FA in August over the tweet posted nine years ago when he was 14 and a member of Arsenal’s youth academy.

An independent Regulatory Commission has subsequently heard the case and ultimately decided on a non-playing sanction for Bola.