What we know so far about Martin Payero to Middlesbrough - and what he can offer
Social media has been awash with excitement over the last few days after Boro were rumoured to have agreed a deal Banfield midfielder Martín Payero.
The 22-year-old is highly regarded as a bright talent in the Primera División and has enjoyed a successful rise through the ranks at the Buenos Aries club having spent last season on loan to league rivals Talleres.
Early Friday morning South American journalist Germán García Grova tweeted that a deal of $8million (£5.8m) had been agreed between both clubs and that Banfield would receive 10% of any future sell-on fee.
Despite theories, the figure previously mentioned is in fact in US Dollars and not in Argentine Pesos, which would have put the deal at £60,000. A snip, right?
Interestingly, a Banfield blog called Contracara made their readers aware of a similar sounding deal that took Julián Carranza to Inter Miami in the MLS.
They explained how the attacker was signed for a reported $6million that was, in reality, actually $2million - much less than what was initially thought.
Boro simply can’t pay almost £6million on one player - Neil Warnock said it himself during an interview with BBC Radio Tees. If this deal is going to happen, it will no doubt be a substantially decreased upfront figure with add ons and bonuses taking the deal to a potentially larger sum.
Payero has been named in the Argentina squad for the Olympics, so any potential move will be finalised after the tournament’s conclusion, per reports in South America.
What type of player would Boro be getting anyway?
I spoke to Argentinian and South American football writer Tom Robinson to gain an insight.
The lowdown on Payero
“Payero is a really interesting signing and a real statement of intent,” he said: “Over the last year he's been one of the best central midfielders in Argentina and was a huge reason why Banfield almost won the Copa Diego Maradona (only to be pipped by Boca Juniors in the final).
“He's formed an excellent partnership with Giuliano Galoppo, acting more as a deep-lying playmaker having been seen more as a attacking midfielder when he was younger.
“Even though he's more of a deep-lying midfielder he actually ranks as the 2nd highest for dribbles in Argentina over the last year. He's got a brilliant range of passing, decent shot from range (even though he doesn't score many) and a good set piece delivery.
“Even though his best attributes are highlighted when he's on the ball, he also ranks really highly duels won too so he can contribute on the defensive side too.”
Friend of the podcast, Luke, who goes by @loupirolo on Twitter posted a graphic that shows what Payero can bring to the table.
He tops the charts for offensive duels per 90, aerial duels per 90, dribbles per 90 and accelerations per 90.
It's also worth directing fans to a brilliant scouting piece on Payero from Wyscout, which you can delve into here.
In terms of a work permit, the new post-Brexit banding system placed the Primera Divisíon in Band 3, meaning they should ‘pass the entry requirements with flying colours’.
It’s unlikely Boro will announce a deal in principle now, even if the two clubs have shaken on it. Fans will have to remain patient for any official news but in the meantime, there’s the possibility to watch Payero at the Olympics when Argentina face Australia on July 22nd (11:30am kick-off).