Andraz Sporar made a huge impression while at Middlesbrough after arriving on loan from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2021.
Having made just 35 appearances, including 28 starts, Sporar quickly became a fan favourite at the Riverside with tireless displays in the Championship.
Injuries didn’t help the Slovenian last season, nor did a change of manager but his effort levels didn’t change however he was deployed under Neil Warnock or Chris Wilder, becoming Boro’s most used striker.
The Slovenian international was Boro’s only reliable source of goals from the striking position last season, coming out on top ahead of Uche Ikpeazu, Folarin Balogun, Duncan Watmore, Aaron Connolly and Josh Coburn.
His eight goals had him only behind Matt Crooks in the goalscoring charts for Boro which was arguably a poor return for a player who could have cost a significant fee.
Sporar was initially signed by Neil Warnock, arriving on Teeside on a season-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent for a fee of around £6m. This would have been triggered had Middlesbrough achieved promotion or Sporar scored 15 goals, with neither being accomplished.
However, Wilder decided to go in a different direction, opting against making the deal for the forward permanent.
That didn’t stop Sporar parting with Boro amicably, telling the supporters “he will always follow the Boro”.
Wilder did have the chance to sign Sporar once again in the summer, with Sporting Lisbon reportedly offering Middlesbrough the chance to sign Sporar at a cut price fee, but that wasn’t taken up.
He subsequently signed for Greek side Panathinaikos, joining on a four-year deal. He has once again been a steady source of goals, scoring twice in his first five league games whilst scoring once in the Europa Conference League for his new side.
He will always be fondly remembered at his time at the Riverside, partly down to his popular song fans coined for him to the tune of She’s Electric by Oasis, coupled with his tireless display ensuring he remains a cult hero.