Middlesbrough sign Dutchman Emnes

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The Independent Football

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate today made his first summer signing by clinching a £3.2million deal for Dutchman Marvin Emnes.

The 20-year-old Sparta Rotterdam player has signed a four-year deal after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

"We feel we have signed an exciting young player in Marvin," Southgate told the club's website, mfc.co.uk.

"Last season was his breakthrough year at Sparta Rotterdam and he ended the campaign with a flurry, scoring eight goals in his final 10 games.

"He can play anywhere across the front line, so he has versatility to go with pace, energy and technical skills.

"Marvin is very enthusiastic about coming to England and the challenge of Premier League football.

"He also fits the profile of the sort of players we want at Middlesbrough in that he is a young player with hunger, energy and pace."

Emnes is likely to be employed as an attacking midfielder by Boro as Southgate looks to improve the supply lines to the likes of record signing Afonso Alves and Turkey international Tuncay Sanli.

Fabio Rochemback's departure, along with that of Gaizka Mendieta, has depleted the club's midfield resources, and with uncertainty persisting over the futures of George Boateng and Gary O'Neil, the manager has drawn up a list of targets.

Paris St German's Didier Digard and Reading's James Harper remain in his sights, although the Frenchman has been suspended by his club over comments he made about the delay in his proposed move to Teesside.

However, Southgate was delighted to have made a breakthrough with Emnes after weeks of work behind the scenes.

He said: "There was a lot of interest in Marvin and I know that Ajax and Feyenoord were keen. But we got ahead of both to complete the signing of a player who I hope can excite our fans.

"He is just the sort of talented, young player that I feel we need to be attracting to the club, so I am delighted."

Rotterdam-born Emnes, a Holland Under-21 international, could join up with his new team-mates when they return for pre-season training on Monday.