It’s official: Juninho is Middlesbrough’s greatest ever signing

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TOP BET

Middlesbrough to finish in top ten

Middlesbrough have been by far one of the busiest Premier League clubs in this transfer window. But according to today’s Twitter poll, none of their recent buys tops the acquisition of Brazilian star Juninho.

We gave our followers four players from the Premier League era to choose from this morning – three of which (Juninho, Bryan Robson and Fabrizio Ravanelli) played alongside each other in the 1996-97 campaign at the Riverside, while the final choice was recent signing Alvaro Negredo.

And we can reveal it’s the man from Sao Paulo who ran away with it today with 59 per cent of the vote, while new boy Negredo came in second place with 23 per cent. Ravanelli was some way back in third with 12 per cent of the vote and Robson claimed just six per cent.

Juninho signed for the Teesiders on three separate occasions during his career, first in 1995, then again on loan in 1999 before agreeing to another permanent deal in 2002.

And back in ’95 the transfer was something of a coup for player-manager Bryan Robson as the then-22-year old was linked with a whole host of Europe’s elite football clubs.

His second season in England saw him come runner-up to Gianfranco Zola for the FWA Player of the Year award, and only left Boro to increase his chances of making the 1998 Brazilian World Cup squad.

He left Teesside in the summer of 1997 and went to Atletico Madrid, but was welcomed back with open arms two years later for a loan spell following a leg break in Spain, and eventually returned for another two years in 2002 after winning the World Cup with Brazil.

In his third spell with the club he won the League Cup and has since been voted Middlesbrough’s greatest ever player in a PFA poll.

In total, Juninho represented Boro on 120 occasions, scoring 27 times from midfield.

Though Boro may be building a squad capable of challenging for a top ten spot this season, their current crop of players have a lot to do if they are to reach the heights Juninho did during his time on Teesside.

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.