Gibson defends Alves swoop

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Football News

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has defended the club's decision to smash its transfer record to land striker Afonso Alves.

Boro paid Heerenveen £12.7million for the Brazilian in January last year, and after seeing him score six goals in six Barclays Premier League appearances as the 2007-08 season drew to a close, had high hopes for the new campaign.

However, Alves managed only four league goals and Gibson, answering fans' questions on BBC Tees, said: "He would be the first to admit that the season hasn't gone the way he would have hoped."

He added: "It hasn't been through lack of effort, it hasn't been through lack of commitment to the club, it's just not happened for him.

"Every supporter I speak to sees something in Alves, that there is a talent in there, and it is whether we can get it out.

"We felt he could do it in the Premier League. He showed signs of that in the latter part of last season.

"It hasn't worked out for him. He has got himself into some great goalscoring opportunities, but he has only scored four goals.

"Now, I don't want to talk about individual players, but for any striker in the Premier League, four goals is not enough.

"Before that, he has scored 45 goals in 39 games for Heerenveen, and he got six in six for us last season."

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Afonso Alves
Premier League

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