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Sol Bamba: Ivory Coast star among players released by Middlesbrough

14:51 GMT+4 10/05/2022
Sol Bamba
The 37-year-old defender has officially left Riverside after the expiry of his one-year-contract

EFL Championship side Middlesbrough have confirmed the exit of several players among them defender Sol Bamba.

The 37-year-old Ivory Coast player returned to Riverside at the start of the season under Neil Warnock after penning a one-year contract. It was after he had recovered from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in May last year.

However, the Riverside-based club have confirmed the exit of the player alongside Lee Peltier and Neil Taylor, whose contracts were not renewed, and Folarin Balogun, Aaron Connolly, James Lea Siliki, Andraz Sporar, whose loan deals expired.

Bamba, who went on to make 29 senior appearances during the campaign, including memorable wins over Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, has paid tribute to Boro and the fans after it was confirmed he will leave in the summer.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Bamba told the club’s official website. “I really want the fans to understand how important they have been for me, they gave me the strength to achieve what I have this season.

“I’ve played for many clubs but I will never forget this, they're probably the best fans in the country and I wish them all the best.”

Boro manager Chris Wilder has also talked about the exit of Bamba and others players, who will leave after the expiry of their loan deals.

“We thank them all,” Wilder told the same portal. “From the loan players' point of view, it maybe hasn’t worked out as they’d have liked.

“It’s been a difficult period for us on that one, but the other guys whose contracts have expired – Sol [Bamba], Lee Peltier, and Neil Taylor – they’ve been exemplary professionals for us, both on and off the pitch. They’re all fabulous guys and have great qualities so I thank them as well.”

Bamba started his career in his native France with Paris Saint-Germain but failed to establish himself in their first team. He moved to Scotland to join Dunfermline Athletic in 2006, helping the club reach the final of the Scottish Cup in his first season.

Two years later, he was transferred to Hibernian, before joining Leicester City in January 2011. He was sold to Turkish club Trabzonspor in 2012 for £750,000 before joining Palermo. However, he was loaned to Leeds United after making only one appearance in six months.

He eventually joined Leeds on a permanent deal and was appointed club captain, spending a further year with the club before being released and subsequently joining Cardiff City. In his first full season with Cardiff, he helped the side win promotion to the Premier League.