The rumours have been around all summer, but it was the story from The Sun that made speculation around Rhodes’ future really intensify.
Personally, I like Rhodes and I hope that he stays because he has the ability to change a game with a little bit of magic. However, if Aitor thinks he would be better suited elsewhere, then that is his decision and the fans must support that.
Karanka very rarely get it wrong in regards to player departures. Jozsef Varga, Jelle Vossen, Lee Tomlin, Jason Steele and when he first arrived, there were questions from fans over his decision to leave out Mustapha Carayol.
A look at those players and none of them have gone on to match the heights of Boro under Karanka. In fact, of the 48 players to have departed the club since Karanka’s arrival, only Lukas Jutkiewicz, Marvin Emnes and the handful of loan players from Chelsea are still with Premier League clubs, and none of them are anywhere near being first team regulars.
If Karanka doesn’t think that Rhodes can cut it in the Premier League, or if he doesn’t think that he quite suits his system as Alvaro Negredo and David Nugent do, then I trust that decision.
With that being said, it wouldn’t be a shock if the whole saga was blown out of proportion.
Rhodes is a player of immense quality and his knack of being in the right place at the right time is something that is hard to come by without spending a significant fee, which Boro did back in February.
Something which has been doing the rounds on Twitter is the argument that Rhodes isn’t Karanka’s signing and that Steve Gibson sanctioned the move without the manager’s say-so.
Let’s get this straight, Steve Gibson is not a Massimo Cellino or Gino Pozzo. If Karanka doesn’t want a player, then Gibson would not have sanctioned the move.
It’s not secret that Ross McCormack was Karanka’s first choice. He seemed to suit the system better but it’s hard to imagine the chairman sanctioning an initial £9m move – at the time the club’s second biggest signing ever – without the approval of his manager.
All this talk of Rhodes being a ‘Gibson signing’ is ridiculous to me. The player was chased by the club for over 12 months, it’s not as if the signing was sprung on Karanka and he only knew about it when Rhodes appeared on the training ground one day.
Karanka wanted the player no doubt, whether he was first choice is another matter, but don’t write off the signing and accusing the chairman of signing him without the wishes of his manager.
I personally can’t wait for the transfer window to be closed so these rumours stop, and I hope that Jordan Rhodes is still a Boro player at that stage.