New Boro signing, John Obi Mikel, says Boro’s ambition and mentality helped persuade him that Teesside was the place to be this season.
The Nigerian international was courted by clubs across Europe, but says his decision to return to England came after having conversations with the Boro boss about the sort of team he’d be joining.
“For me it’s looking at the project,” he said.
“I spoke to a few clubs and I also spoke to Tony [Pulis], had a good chat with him.
“He’s told me where he wants to go with it and it definitely fits with what I want to do.
“The club wants to get promoted so hopefully I’m here to help in any way I can.
“It’s a family club and this is what I want.
“I like stability and this is why I was at Chelsea for a very long time.”
A two-time Premier League and Champions League winner, Mikel developed a reputation with The Blues as a defensive midfielder, but has also enjoyed much success further up the pitch as captain of his country.
The player himself says that the team comes first.
“We have to put our heads together and help each other,” he said.
“If anyone knows me from my years at Chelsea, I always played for the team. The team comes first and that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.
“Here is going to be a challenge, but I love challenges.”