Middlesbrough will be the envy of many Championship rivals thanks to Emmanuel Latte Lath

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Middlesbrough will be the envy of many Championship rivals thanks to Emmanuel Latte Lath

Emmanuel Latte Lath of Middlesbrough

Emmanuel Latte Lath of Middlesbrough© Mark Cosgrove/News Images

Michael Carrick is excited about what next season holds for Emmanuel Latte Lath, saying they have in him what most Championship clubs will be desperate to find this summer.

While it hasn't always been plain-sailing for the striker in his first season at the Riverside, he has ended the season in fine form with 11 goals in 12. It means he ends the season, despite playing only a little over half of Boro's combined minutes this season, with 18 goals in all competitions.

Boro are likely to look to sign another striker in the summer transfer window as they look to build on their positive end to the season, they head into the summer feeling like they already have a man who, if he can stay fit and replicate this form next term, will comfortably hit 20-plus goals next term - the often set golden mark of a striker for any successful Championship side.

When it was put to Carrick that every Championship club wants a 20-goal-a-season striker after he capped his season with a goal in the final-day 3-1 win over Watford, the Boro boss said: “We're lucky because we've got one. We've hoped and known the potential he had and his strengths and attributes. He's had a really incredible patch in terms of scoring goals and there's no reason he can't build on that going into next year.”

Latte Lath certainly enjoyed the adulation of the Boro supporters as he made himself a new terrace favourite in recent months. Following the victory over Watford, he danced as supporters sang the song they've created for him to the tune of Spirit in the Sky as the Boro players did their traditional lap of honour after the final game of the season.

With Latte Lath's form earning him the Championship Player of the Month award, and with Boro ending the season with only one defeat in 12, Carrick admitted there was a feeling of not wanting the season to end in the Boro dressing room.

“There is that feeling to be honest," he said. "The boys are playing as they are and the results they've had, there is an element of that. I'm not sure they'll be thinking that when they're sat on a beach, but it's great to finish the season so well."

The Boro players will now be heading to the beaches as they take a well-earned rest at the end of what has been a challenging campaign for them, particularly due to the unprecedented amount of injuries they've suffered. To their credit, there was no sign taking anything easy in their final two games, despite nothing riding on them by that stage.

Following up last weekend's 4-1 victory at Cardiff City, they closed their campaign with a 3-1 victory against the Hornets at the Riverside. Adding to Latte Lath's goal, Alex Bangura and Isaiah Jones scored the other goals as Boro sealed an eighth place finish, just four points off the play-offs in the end.

“It was near enough the perfect day in many ways," Carrick said after. "Obviously the corner we let slip was disappointing. But we responded to that really well and all in all I think we played well. We attacked well and looked dangerous throughout and obviously scored goals.

"Big positives with Law [McCabe] making his first start as well. Getting James [Wilson] on the pitch at the end as well. It’s nice to do that for the academy and give an opportunity for a young player.” 

Story by Craig Johns: Teeside Live 

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