AITOR KARANKA believes the loan signing of Ryan Fredericks will provide essential competition to Damia Abella this season.

After having no right-backs last season – Jozsef Varga was drafted into the role – Karanka now has two to choose from, with Fredericks’ move from Tottenham Hotspur rubber-stamped in time for the 21-year-old to face Reading on Saturday.

“I’m very pleased because it was a position that we have been working on in the squad,” said Karanka in his press conference on Thursday afternoon. “We have gone so many months without a right-back, now we have two - Damia from Spain, and another from Tottenham.

Loading article content

“I know him and I have been speaking to Mauricio [Pochettino]. I think it’s a good move for everybody. It’s the same situation with the players who came from Chelsea, young lads.

“I like to work with this type of player and I think it will work out well for everybody.

Karanka also revealed he spent just ten seconds thinking about Middlesbrough’s Capital One Cup tie against Liverpool before returning to his preparations for Saturday’s Championship fixture against Reading.

Boro have been drawn against the Reds at Anfield in the third round of the competition to take place on the week of September 22, but although Karanka was delighted with the draw, he prefers to focus on his side’s Championship fixture first and foremost.

“I was watching the draw - I was thinking about it for ten seconds,” said Karanka. “I thought about our fans, it’s very good for them, but after those ten seconds it was back to thinking about Reading, because we have four more games before we play Liverpool.”

Middlesbrough are hoping to announce the signing of Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford in time for the game against the Royals.

“We’re at the same point as we were on Tuesday with Patrick,” said Karanka. “We’d like it fixed up as soon as possible and he can be here as soon as possible also.”