Middlesbrough goalkeeper Zack Steffen has said that he doesn’t think he will return to Manchester City next season as he looks for regular minutes.
Steffen joined Middlesbrough on loan from City in July of last year as he searched for an opportunity to be a first-choice keeper and that is exactly what he has been on Teesside, playing 34 of Borough’s 38 league matches, keeping ten clean sheets for his side as they find themselves 3rd in the Championship under Michael Carrick.
Speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Steffen says that he has no plans in place to return to the Etihad in any capacity next season.
“I don’t think I’ll go back. I want to be playing. Although I had a great time at City and I love those guys, and obviously it’s an amazing club, I don’t really have any plans to go back.”
Part of Steffen’s plan to go in search of an opportunity to be a No.1 was to give himself the best chance of being the USA’s starting keeper in Qatar, but national team boss Gregg Behalter left him out and Steffen touched on how it felt to stay at home.
“The keepers – Matt Turner, Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath were consistent and were with the team throughout the whole cycle and Gregg just decided to go with them.
“It was tough. God tested me. It definitely wasn’t easy, as you can imagine, but yeah, just not what I expected.”
The 27-year old will be much happier now than he will have been back in November though, with the USA team’s interim boss Anthony Hudson selecting Steffen as part of the 24-man squad for this month’s CONCACAF Nations League group stage matches, so hopefully he can prove that his country’s No.1 spot should belong to him as a reward for his excellent performances with Middlesbrough.