Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk has made his second signing of the summer today as defender Cyrus Christie joined the club from Derby County for an undisclosed fee.
Boro are looking to build a competitive squad that is capable of returning to the Premier League at the first attempt next season after their torrid campaign last time out.
A quality right-back at this level
There is no doubt that Christie has developed into one of the best full-backs in the division since moving to Pride Park. Before making the move to join the Rams, he played for Coventry City where he also had loan spells at Nuneaton Town and Hinckley United.
He made 102 appearances for Coventry during a four-year spell at the club after breaking through their youth academy in 2010. His performances did attract bigger clubs and Derby managed to snap him up on a three-year deal as his contract expired in 2014.
However, due to the fact he was under 23 years old and had come through Coventry's youth academy, the Rams did have to pay a compensation fee.
Christie was able to quickly establish himself at the club and has made 107 appearances during his three-year spell at Pride Park. During this time, he has also managed to find the back of the net twice.
Rams supporters will certainly be disappointed to see him leave the club, especially considering other key players such as Will Hughes and Tom Ince have also been shown the door.
His performances at club level have not gone unnoticed by Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane. He has been called up to join the international squad on a number of occasions and has so far clocked up 10 appearances, scoring twice.
Howson also joins in double swoop
Christie joins Jonny Howson at the Riverside as he was also signed by Monk from Norwich City earlier today.
The midfielder has also been signed for an undisclosed fee and will add even more experience to Boro's squad and he knows what it takes to get promoted out of this division.
The 29-year-old has only previously played for Leeds United and Norwich in his career. After coming through the youth academy at Elland Road, he went on to make 185 appearances for the club, scoring 23 goals.
He then joined Norwich in 2012 and had a equally successful time at Carrow Road. He made 175 appearances for the Canaries during a five-year spell there, finding the back of the net 22 times.
Monk very 'pleased' with new additions
Monk has only been in charge at the club for a short period of time, but has now finally been able to make his first additions to his squad ahead of next season. He told Middlesbrough's official site of his delight to get the deals done: “We’re pleased because we’ve been working hard as a club to bring the right players in.”
He added: “I’ve said before that we have a core group who have been working well, and we only want to recruit players in certain areas with certain strengths to enhance that."
The 38-year-old manager feels Howson is another style of midfielder to any he currently has at his disposal in the squad. He explained: “Jonny is a different type of midfielder to what we have and he gives us different options. He has experience and ability, and he’s determined to do well and take this club forward."
In comparison, he feels the addition of Christie fills a gap in the squad which was really lacking in quality. He said: “Cyrus is a really good addition in area we are lacking. It’s for these guys to come in and to push as hard as the other players have been already to be prepared for the season ahead.”