Southgate urges Hoyte to take his chance
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has challenged Justin Hoyte to use the North East as a springboard for launching his career as a Premier League player - for the second time.
The 23-year-old, who completed a £3million move to Boro from Arsenal last weekend, has already proved himself a success in the region.
He spent a year on loan at Sunderland three seasons ago and then returned to Arsenal to hold down a regular first-team place with the Gunners for much of the following campaign.
Southgate said: 'We're delighted to have signed Justin. This is a terrific opportunity for him to play regular football and improve himself as a footballer.
'He's already proved himself once in the North East. He played consistently for Sunderland when he was on loan there and by all accounts did very well.
'Then he went back to Arsenal and played a lot of games for them.
'Last year Arsenal signed a couple of defenders and his chances were limited. So this is an important stage of his career and maybe he will settle in quickly now that he is back in the North East.
'We hope to help him and he can help himself. He has a great pedigree and he needs to play and gain an impetus to repay the faith we have shown in him.'
Hoyte goes straight into the Boro squad for tomorrow's clash with Liverpool but may have to settle for a place on the bench at Anfield.
However, Southgate sees Hoyte as a future regular in his line-up, and possibly the final cog in the Boro wheel this summer.
Southgate has not spent much money in revitalising his squad in pre-season and may decide to keep the chequebook in the cupboard until January.
Hoyte has been joined at the Riverside Stadium by midfielders Didier Digard and Marvin Emnes this summer, and the trio have cost a total outlay of £10.2million.
However, Southgate virtually financed these deals by agreeing to sell Luke Young to Aston Villa for £6million after 35 league appearances, and Lee Cattermole to Wigan for £3.75million after 69 appearances.
It means there will be more cash in the kitty if Southgate needs it, although the Boro boss is not certain he wants to spend again.
'I've got another two or three games to reassess the squad before the transfer window closes,' Southgate added.
'I need to have a look and see if there are any areas which need strengthening. But at the moment I am relatively happy with what we have got.
'We have a small squad but it's a tight and together squad and I want all the players to have a chance of playing football this season.
'The switch to seven substitutes gives us the opportunity to get more players at games wearing shirts, but you still have four players who will feel frustrated at the end of games if they haven't come on.
'I could go out and sign another three or four players but I am also conscious of the young players we have got here and it's important we try to give them opportunities.
'We have two or three youngsters who could come into the side this season and make an impact. I want to leave the way clear for them to push through.'