Jonathan Woodgate reacts as two Middlesbrough midfielders leave on loan

Middlesbrough midfielders Ben Liddle and Connor Malley have left the club on loan until the end of the season after signing for Scunthorpe United and Ayr United respectively.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 3:44 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 6:15 pm
Midfielder Ben Liddle made his senior debut for Middlesbrough earlier this season.
Midfielder Ben Liddle made his senior debut for Middlesbrough earlier this season.

Liddle, 21, made his senior debut for Boro back in November after coming off the bench against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The midfielder was then handed his first start for the Teessiders during January’s FA Cup replay at Tottenham.

Head coach Jonathan Woodgate told Boro’s official website: “Ben has done really well this season and he’s had a taste of things against both Leeds and Tottenham.

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It’s the second time Liddle has been loaned out to a League Two club following a spell at Forest Green Rovers last season.

“He’s really earned the right to be involved with the first team this season and this loan move is another important step in his development.

“This will give Ben the opportunity to gain more experience and get some games in on a regular basis.”

Liddle became Boro’s second loan departure on deadline day after striker Stephen Walker joined Crewe Alexandra.

The midfielder told Scunthorpe’s website: “I’m delighted to be here and will hopefully get some games under my belt. As soon as I found out about the interest, I wanted to come straight away, so I’m looking forward to it.“I didn’t know I was allowed to go out on loan until Wednesday night, and then my agent phoned yesterday and I came down this morning. I really wanted to come here and am looking forward to it.”

It was then confirmed that 19-year-old Malley had signed for Ayr who are pushing for promotion from the Scottish Premiership.

The midfielder has been included in Boro’s matchday squad and is rated highly at Rockliffe after signing a new contract last year.

“Ayr is a great move for Connor,” said Woodgate. “They’re going well in the league and Connor is going into a real competitive environment.

“We’re all really pleased with how Connor his is a great opportunity for him and this an important step in his development.”