The 3 Middlesbrough players we can see leaving in January | OneFootball

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Football League World

·30 September 2023

The 3 Middlesbrough players we can see leaving in January

Article image:The 3 Middlesbrough players we can see leaving in January

As far as starts to the season go, Middlesbrough's opening eight matches of 2023-24 have been somewhat unexpectedly tough.

It was never going to be easy for Michael Carrick as a rookie manager losing his talisman in Chuba Akpom as well as star loanees Ryan Giles and Cameron Archer, but the summer recruitment to replace them hasn't really paid off just yet.

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Some teams will take time to gel after a plethora of new arrivals, but the Teessiders are taking a long time to adjust to the fresh faces being added to their squad, and their first win of the league season - an overdue one at that - came against Southampton last weekend.

Depending on what happens between now and the end of 2023, Boro may have to enter the transfer market in January 2024 for some more reinforcements, but there's likely to be departures as well that goes with that.

Let's look at THREE

3 Paddy McNair

McNair is one of Boro's longest-serving players and is into his sixth season at the Riverside Stadium, having signed for the club back in 2018 from North East neighbours Sunderland.

Boro splashed out around the £5 million mark on the former Man United man, a big price for a Championship club, but despite that fee he was not a regular starter in his first season.

The versatile centre-back/midfielder became more of a regular fixture after struggling in his debut year, but in recent weeks under Carrick he has once again gone back to being on the bench, with Darragh Lenihan and Dael Fry preferred at the back.

McNair is in an important year as well as his contract is set to expire in June 2024, and there was no shortage of reported interest over the summer from Premier League and Championship clubs.

So, it may be in Boro's best interests to try and get a fee for the Northern Ireland international before he can depart in the summer for absolutely nothing.

2 Alex Gilbert (loan)

Boro looked into signing a lot of players with potential this past summer, and one of those was Gilbert.

On the face of it, a player who has only had a disappointing loan stint with Swindon Town in recent times is a strange addition, but the attacking midfielder's form for Brentford's B team saw Boro land his services, scoring 16 goals last season for the Bees' development squad.

It has been suggested that Boro had to pay Brentford £1 million in compensation for Gilbert due to his age, but the 21-year-old won't be learning much sat on the sidelines.

A loan move in January could benefit all parties, perhaps to League One or Scotland, unless he has had a chance by then in the first-team and taken it.

1 Hayden Coulson

Coulson's Boro career has looked on the rocks for a while now, and for the previous two seasons he has been out on loan at three different clubs in a bid for more game-time.

He didn't really get that at both Ipswich Town and Peterborough in the 2021-22 season, but with Aberdeen last year he was starting for at least the first half of the Scottish Premiership campaign for the Dons.

Surprisingly, Coulson was thrown into the starting 11 by Carrick for the first two matches of this Championship season, but once reinforcements were sourced it wasn't long before the 25-year-old was out of the 20-man matchday squad.

Coulson still has a contract running until the summer of 2025, but it wouldn't be a shock if Boro tried to move him on this January.

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