Football really has gone mad when Middlesbrough are spending £12.75m on a 25 year old, uncapped, Dutchman. Marten de Roon could feature for the Smoggies against Rovers on Saturday, alongside legendary keeper Victor Valdes and… George Friend.
Boro have an impressive roster to call from with Jordan Rhodes, David Nugent, Stewart Downing, Albert Adomah et al, all hoping to turn out at the Keepmoat Stadium. The visitors have already had one successful trip to Yorkshire in preseason, a 6-0 hammering of York City in which the only negative was an injury to former Rovers left back James Husband.
The game has special meaning for Rovers club captain James Coppinger who comes from a family of Boro fans. Copps told DROS this week: ‘I’m a Middlesbrough lad and have family that support them, sadly my granddad passed away recently, he would have loved to have watched me as he was a season ticket holder for 50 years.’
Rovers will be looking forward to Saturday’s game having put in a professional performance in the 4-0 victory at Rossington Main. In terms of team news, new signing Mathieu Baudry will be out until at least the start of the season, joining fellow new signing Joe Wright on the sidelines. Gary McSheffrey is also likely to miss out, and Paul Keegan has picked up his obligatory niggle. Luke McCullough returns from his extended rest period, after travelling to the Euro’s with Northern Ireland, where he played precisely 0 minutes.
Rovers have got the pricing right for preseason this year with £10 tickets for adults and kids going free. Boro will be buoyed by finally winning promotion back to the Premier League so a good crowd will be expected in what should be a fascinating fixture.