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Middlesbrough boss Southgate: Alves almost had me sacked!

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has revealed new signing Afonso Alves almost had him sacked last season!

"We first became aware of Afonso in 2006 when we played Heerenveen in a pre-season friendly," Southgate said. "David Wheater got himself sent off in the first five minutes, Afonso scored twice and we lost 4-0, so you could say he nearly got me sacked within two weeks of getting the job!

"They were a good side. We were alerted before the game to keep an eye on him, but I wasn't able to sit back and enjoy his performance. After that, we were fire-fighting a little bit, but I kept an eye on him and we made enquiries about him last summer.

"He's exactly what we need. You see a hunger in his game to get in the box. You judge a player of his style on his goals and that is an aspect that has been missing from our game.

"His scoring pedigree gives us something we have not had this season. He will compliment the quality of the midfield players we already have and he gives us someone with a proven track record."

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