‘Valdes & Negredo still top players’

Aitor Karanka believes Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo remain top players after they debuted for Middlesbrough in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City.

Valencia loanee Negredo scored Boro’s first Premier League goal in seven years, although his finish was soon cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri, while former Barcelona goalkeeper Valdes started between the sticks for the freshly-promoted outfit.

“I called Victor when had his knee injury. The same happened to me in Bilbao and I know how he was feeling,” the Coach told El Pais.

“I called him again earlier in the summer and told him that, before dismissing me, he should listen to me.

“[He signed for Boro] after a very good conversation. He’ll show that he’s a great goalkeeper.”

On Negredo, Karanka added to the Middlesbrough Gazette: “It’s important for Negredo to score, as when we signed him I said that he needed to recover his confidence.

“A player who won the Premier League two or three years ago with Man City can’t forget to play – so for us, it’s an amazing signing.

“But we need to keep working with him, he scored the goal today but has to keep working as he knows that there's not a player who is above the team.”

Tags Aitor Karanka Alvaro Negredo Middlesbrough Premier League Victor Valdes