Middlesbrough boss Wilder had been tracking 'incredible' Roberts for a while

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‘He's not just here to pick the cones and balls up. He's here to push.’

Former Cobblers boss and current Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder had been tracking Liam Roberts ‘for a couple of seasons’ before snapping him up on a two-year deal earlier this week.

Town’s title-winning manager from 2015/16, who took over at the Riverside last November, has made Roberts his first signing of the summer, with the 27-year-old goalkeeper penning a two-year contract after turning down the chance to stay at Sixfields.

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And whilst Boro are expected to bring in another goalkeeper before the new season starts, Wilder believes Roberts has the ability to be a Championship number one.

Chris Wilder.Chris Wilder.
Chris Wilder.

“There will be some big names that will come and people will go, ‘wow, that’s a really good signing’, and there’s going to be some other signings that you might call under the radar who we feel will make the group stronger,” said Wilder. “Liam is definitely one of those.

"We’ve tracked him for a couple of seasons now and he had an incredible season last year for Northampton and we feel we’ve got a very good and relatively young goalkeeper. He wants to learn, he wants to grow his career and wants to be part of a group that is hopefully pushing at the top of the division.

"It’s a little bit under the radar, but he's someone who adds depth and ambition. He's not just here to pick the cones and balls up. He's here to push.

“There will be two or three others that we need, we won't get all the marquee signings in the building straight away.”