Who is Marcus Browne? - the 'skilful' and ‘exciting' West Ham midfielder on Middlesbrough's radar
West Ham midfielder Marcus Browne looks set to become Middlesbrough’s first outfield signing of the summer – but who is he?
Reports emerged on Thursday that the 21-year-old has travelled to Teesside to complete his medical, and the Mail understands a deal could be completed ahead of Boro’s pre-season friendly against St-Etienne on Sunday.
We take a closer look at the player and what he could bring to Jonathan Woodgate’s side this campaign.
Where does he play? – Despite playing in a central role for West Ham’s youth team, Browne regularly played out wide while on loan at Oxford last season.
West Ham’s website describes the player as an ‘exciting attacking midfielder’ and a ‘skilful player capable of playing across the forward line.’
With Woodgate keen to play a 4-3-3 system this season, Browne would probably be used in one of the wide positions due to Boro’s lack of width.
What's his background? – Browne, 21, joined West Ham’s academy at the age of eight before progressing through the youth set-up and signing his first professional contract in 2015.
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The midfielder made his senior debut in August 2016 when he came off the bench in a Europa League tie.
A few months later, Browne joined Wigan on loan until the end of the season but made just one appearance for the Latics in an FA Cup fixture.
After regularly representing West Ham’s youth team, Browne had a more successful loan spell at Oxford last term, where he made 44 appearances and scored nine goals in all competitions.
What’s been said about him – Oxford bossKarl Robinson was certainly a fan of Browne, who helped the U’s finish 12th in League One last season, and was keen to re-sign the player.
“I’d love him, there’s no getting away from the fact that if he’s available, we’ll pay money for him,” Robinson told the Oxford Mail.
“The chairman has openly said to me 'whatever it costs, we’ll buy him'. But if Marcus Browne was available, we won’t be the only club in for him.
“I think he really felt at home here and I think the fans have a big influence on what he wants to do.”