Neil Taylor was released by Aston Villa over the summer after falling down the pecking order under Dean Smith last season. The 32-year-old spent his final year at Villa Park behind Matt Targett at left-back and was then replaced as a No.2 by Ashley Young the following transfer window.

Taylor spent months in the wilderness without a club, but he’s finally sound a side willing to take a chance on him – Middlesbrough. The Championship outfit confirmed on Thursday that he’d signed a short-term deal until January. He’d initially trained with Boro in a trial format and has now earned himself a contract.

The Welsh international spent four years at Villa, making 103 appearances in all competitions, so Taylor was given a positive send off by supporters on social media. He now has a two-month audition to get himself a contract until the end of the season.

Marc Bola was a regular at left-back until early October and Middlesbrough haven’t had a consistent replacement since, so Taylor has a chance of coming straight into the team if he’s fit enough. Boro are 14th in the table and only four points off the playoffs, so they’re not far away from where they need to be.

In other news, Kevin Phillips says Steven Gerrard will make specific Aston Villa demand