To shore up a defence ravaged by injuries, Boro’ turned to the experienced centre-half Adam El-Abd in early September 2019 after he left Wycombe Wanderers. Joining them during the 2017 summer window, he became the Chairboys’ ‘warrior‘ captain and had a key role to play in the club’s promotion from League Two in the 2017-8 season. But, as with everything, all things must pass. And to seek opportunities elsewhere, he made his exit from Adams Park by mutual consent; making the move across into Hertfordshire.
While the 2019-20 season didn’t last as long as planned due to a pandemic, you’d think that we’d get more than four games out of the experienced defender. But, based on the guess that we already had plenty going for us in defence, there just wasn’t a space for him. And, when we say “plenty going for us in defence”, we obviously don’t mean we were solid. We just had our tried and tested and, despite everything, El-Abd wasn’t seen as a solution. He left the club, predictably, on a free after failing to get a deal for 2020-1.
Adam El-Abd: Before Boro’
El-Abd’s career started at his hometown club of Brighton & Hove Albion as a youth in 1994. After granting him a scholarship as a raw 16-year-old talent, the Seagulls brought him through the ranks and handed him a first team debut in November 2003. During the decade that followed, the defender went on to turn out more than 300 times for the club. Not quite Ronnie Henry numbers, but impressive enough for football these days.
In January 2014, an undisclosed fee was enough to prise El-Abd away from Brighton. It wasn’t a particularly successful move, though. Bristol City was his new club, but – for an unknown reason (to us) – he saw more action out on loan at various clubs. It wasn’t too much of a surprise that he’d move on when his City contract was up. And so he did; this time, north up the Welsh border to Shrewsbury Town in July 2016 for a one-year stay.