Former Aston Villa and Rangers defender Alan Hutton has confirmed he could have joined Middlesbrough before opting to retire from football.
The Scottish international knew both Boro manager Jonathan Woodgate and assistant coach Robbie Keane from his time at Tottenham, but he decided that he wanted to spend time with his family rather than playing another season as a professional footballer:
“It was close. On one side I felt bad cause I knew Woodgate and Keane they were desperate for me to go there. But leaving the family for the sake of one year… in the Championship you’re constantly playing and you’re away for the full week. Is it worth it? When I weighed it all up, it wasn’t.”
Middlesbrough did start the season short of right-backs with Anfernee Dijksteel the only player who was a natural in the role, but the emergence of Djed Spence has certainly helped provide some much-needed depth in the position.
Jonny Howson has also been utilised at fullback this season but having someone like Hutton (who has over 400 senior appearances to his name) could have certainly helped Boro’s cause this campaign. They are currently struggling in the Championship, sitting 18th in the table, just six points off the bottom three with thirteen games remaining.