Middlesbrough defender and England U21 international Ben Gibson says he’s looking forward to linking back up with Kenneth Omeruo in Boro defence.
The Nigeria defender reported to Rockliffe Park on Wednesday to begin his pre-season training programme though, having played in this summer’s World Cup, he shouldn’t be too far off the pace.
Omeruo, 20, did well for Boro last season after joining the club on loan from Chelsea in January.
He seemed to gel particularly well with Gibson and in eight consecutive starts alongside each other at centre-back in March and April, they kept four clean sheets.
While it would be unwise to second guess which players Aitor Karanka will choose to play at the heart of defence, with Dani Ayala, Jonathan Woodgate, Seb Hines, Christian Burgess and, when fit, Rhys Williams also in the frame.
But there’s no doubt the Gibson-Omeruo pairing worked extremely well.
“I really enjoyed playing with Kenneth, Woody and Dani last season,” said the England Under-21 international.
“Me and Kenneth had a really good partnership last season so if it us then hopefully we will carry on in the same vein.
“We are similar ages and good friends.
“We kept in touch even when he was at the World Cup so I just think our styles work well together.
“He’s an aggressive defender in the way that he goes and presses high and I would work around him, we communicate well and it was something that just clicked.
“If the gaffer decides to go that way then hopefully we will carry on like we did last season.
“It’s the gaffer who picks the team and when all the central defenders are fit, the gaffer will have a headache picking the team, which can only be a good thing.”
Omeruo could be one of four Chelsea players to join Boro on loan this summer with further arrivals due to be confirmed this week.