Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been loaned to Middlesbrough for more first team minutes ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Steffen reportedly had an agreement with Manchester City to be able to arrange a loan move to play regularly, and that deal has come in the way of the Championship.
Steffen replaces the Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun as the token American on the squad, whose loan spell with Boro expired at the end of last season.
The American goalkeeper made 20 appearances for City to date, largely as the number two behind Brazilian standout Ederson. Steffen will largely expect to play twice as many games as the first choice keeper in the grueling 46 game season that is the Championship.
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder said to the clubs official website “I think it’s a big coup for us and so I’m delighted we’ve brought Zack in.”
At the end of last season, Steffen signed a new contract that will see him stay at Manchester City until 2025.
“Man City don’t hand out four-and-a-half-year contacts if they don’t think anything of them,” Wilder said about the American’s new contract.
“Everyone knows his situation, he needed to play because of the World Cup. He had an agreement with Man City, but he could have easily stayed there and sat comfortably as their number two. He wanted to go out and he’s agreed to come here.”
Steffen’s first minutes could come today in a pre-season friendly game against Morecambe.