Norwich City v Middlesbrough: Great Dane retained and totally refocused, says Pulis

A DISRUPTIVE final month of the summer transfer window may have largely proved a bugbear for Tony Pulis, but its closure did yield one saving grace.

Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite failed to secure deadline day move
Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite failed to secure deadline day move

The Middlesbrough manager may have seen prized asset Adama Traore leave – a development that he plainly hoped would not happen – and the club fail to bring in the likes of Yannick Bolaise and Albert Adomah, yet there was a spot of good news elsewhere.

The sight of unsettled forward Martin Braithwaite still being at the club after the August 31 passed was rather more welcome, largely due to the fact the Teessiders are not overloaded with genuine creative and match-winning attacking options.

The Danish international had been hankering for a move to La Liga, amid interest from Spain, but a move did not materialise and the 27-year-old remained on Teesside.

Pulis has been quick to convey the importance of the Dane in his plans this season on several occasions, but equally the Welshman has also insisted that he does not want to have players on his books who do not wish to be there.

In a bid to gauge Braithwaite’s state of mind, Pulis spoke with him this week and has received the response that he sought, with the attacker now keen to focus on his Riverside career after failing to secure a move elsewhere.

It remains to be seen if Braithwaite, an unused substitute for Boro last time out at Leeds while speculation raged over his future on the final day of the window, starts today.

But what is clear is that he will play a leading role for Boro between now and the opening of the January window at least, after starting the season with aplomb following a haul of three goals in five outings.

Pulis said: “I am delighted that Martin has not left and is back in the squad. I have had a good chat with him and he has promised to get his head down and really give it a go this year.

“I think all the speculation about him leaving in the last window affected him. He was playing really well as well and was exceptional and looked like he was going to score goals in every game.

“We want him back in the team. He is a good player. What I want is players who want to be at this football club and understand that this is a good club.

“It is a good club to come into every morning and work at. Martin has had a good chat with me and fingers crossed, we can get him back involved in the team and scoring goals.”