Fear not Middlesbrough fans, our traders say Prem return is on the cards

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On the whole, this has been a largely disappointing campaign for Middlesbrough. After spending seven years away from the Premier League, the Teesside outfit looked well prepared heading into the season’s opener at Stoke City.

But despite spending just shy of £45m on new arrivals back in the summer, Boro’s fate has already been sealed – and they’ll be playing Championship football once again next term.

While fans around the Riverside will still be getting over that news, our traders have been busy pricing up Boro’s chances of an immediate return to the top-flight.

And the early signs give plenty of reason for optimism in the North East, with 2/1 on offer for Boro to bounce straight back up at the first time of asking.

Last time Middlesbrough were relegated from the Premier League, they finished 11th in their first season in the Championship. Simply put, that wouldn’t be good enough next year, especially with the players currently at interim manager Steve Agnew’s disposal.

Providing he can keep hold of a large chunk of this team, there’s no reason why they can’t challenge for the title. And at 7/1, our odds-compilers reckon they have every chance of mounting a challenge.

Of course, there are some names that will likely move on this summer. Victor Valdes, Gaston Ramirez, Adama Traore and Ben Gibson are too good for this level and will thus seek pastures new.

Boro can make a healthy profit from the sale of said players, but what’s important is how that money gets spent.

Buy wisely, and Boro could manage an instant return to the big time. Hopefully then they’ll learn from their 2016-17 mistakes…

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.