Middlesbrough signed Marten de Roon from Atalanta in 2016.

He made 35 appearances in all competitions during the 2016/17 season and managed to score five goals in the process while operating as a midfielder for Boro. The same campaign, the English club were relegated to the Championship.

After spending one year with Boro, the Netherlands international returned to Atalanta, with whom he is still plying his trade.

Dutch magazine Voetbal International have managed to gather comments from the 28-year-old regarding his ‘bizarre’ transfer to Middlesbrough and then back to the Serie A side in 2017.

“It was strange to suddenly be worth €15m. Until the year before, I was a good player for Heerenveen, but I wasn’t in the picture that much,” De Roon said.

“I had a good year here at Atalanta and I know that the technical director of Middlesbrough was very fond of me then.”

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“When €15m was offered, it was very bizarre. I remember that the first bid came in, there were €6m or €8m bids, and I said: Impossible not to accept that. That bid was then rejected. I thought then: Hey, where does this come from?

“The football has also become a bit like that, especially in England where the amounts are crazy. Perhaps it makes sense to pay €100m for a player, and then so to pay €15m for a lesser player.

“For me, Atalanta would ask for an extra €5-10m at the moment, if they wanted to sell me.” 

In 2017, the Championship side confirmed on their official website, with a headline ‘MFC – Clarifying Transfer Facts’, that they paid £8.8m to Atalanta plus an additional £900,000 after De Roon completed 30 appearances.

The player appears to disagree.