You couldn’t doubt the wealth of experience that winger Jobi McAnuff brought to Boro’ in summer 2016. Boro’ gaffer Darren Sarll was in no doubt about that either; moving to sign the Jamaican international on a free transfer in one part of his close-season recruitment.
The signing of Jobi McAnuff was a statement of intent. The sheer Football (and Premier) League experience was enough, but there was also the caps for Jamaica too. Although in the latter stages of his career, Sarll and fans saw still plenty in the tank to benefit Boro’.
Jobi McAnuff: Before Boro’
London-born McAnuff made his professional debut for Wimbledon (as they were known at the time) in the First Division (as it was then known). During his spell down at Selhurst Park, he racked up more than 100 outings. And he remained at the Dons until their final season, before they moved up the road to Milton Keynes.
It’s reported that McAnuff was all but set for a move to Portsmouth ahead of their first Premier League season. The move fell through, however, and the winger ended up at West Ham United instead. First team opportunities at Upton Park weren’t quite abundant, and another move followed in 2004 – to Cardiff City.
McAnuff’s stay at Cardiff was brief; financial issues a factor in a switch to Crystal Palace and a return to Selhurst Park. During his time in South London at the Eagles, the player bumped into a familiar face of ours as Peter Taylor took charge in 2006. A year later, he was on the move to Hertfordshire and to Watford.
It was with Reading two years later, however, that McAnuff really stood out. In a successful five-year stint at the Madejski Stadium, he captained the Reading side to the Championship title and promotion to the Premier League. It was also in 2012 that McAnuff was quoted as saying Premier League players were paid too much.
In 2014, Reading decided not to renew his contract and McAnuff moved back to London by signing a two-year deal with League One outfit Leyton Orient. He turned out more than 50 times for the Os, before his release in 2016. And, despite a trial in the States with Minnesota United, Boro’ made their move.