Would Middlesbrough be right to let Hayden Coulson and Lewis Wing leave following Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich reports?
Middlesbrough are still looking to strengthen this summer, with Neil Warnock keen to make four or five more signings before the start of the 2021/22 campaign, while some players are also being linked with moves away from the Riverside.
Warnock admitted last week that he has been assessing potential swap deals as he looks to bolster Boro’s squad – which still looks a little thin less than three weeks before next month’s season opener at Fulham.
Hayden Coulson and Lewis Wing are just two of the players who have been linked with loan moves away from the Riverside – even though the Teessiders are low on numbers.
All three players found themselves on the fringes of the squad last season, and in Wing’s case he was loaned out to Rotherham, where he played regularly and impressed manager Paul Warne.
Sheffield Wednesday have also been credited with interest in the 26-year-old in recent weeks, even if Warne believes Wing should be playing at Championship level.
Wing’s strengths are obvious, and his ability to shoot from distance was demonstrated again as he scored the winner in Boro’s 2-1 friendly win over Saltash United.
The midfielder also has an eye for a pass, though his best performances have often come in the No 10 position.
Yet the issue Wing faces is that Boro are likely to have other options in the attacking midfield role, a position Marcus Tavernier played for most of last season, while Martin Payero, who is set to arrive from Argentine club Banfield, can also play there.
Warnock has said there is always someone who surprises him in pre-season and Wing could easily be that player.
Yet the midfielder is also at an age where he will want to be playing regularly, meaning a move away could aid his career.
As for Coulson, Sunderland, Luton and Ipswich are among the clubs said to be tracking the 23-year-old, with the latter seemingly to be leading the race to sign him.
It’s been a frustrating 12 months for the left-back, who was a standout performer in a struggling side under Jonathan Woodgate and has repeatedly been praised for his attitude in training.
During his impressive 2019/20 campaign, Coulson won Boro Supporters’ Young Player of the Year award and signed a new deal at the Riverside until 2023.
That means if the Teessiders were to loan the player out for a season, he would return to the Riverside with only 12 months left on his contract.
As a 23-year-old, the player will want to be at a club where he can play regularly, which suggests a permanent transfer could also be an option.
Boro value players who have come through their academy set-up but did allow goalkeeper Aynsley Pears, then 22, to join Blackburn last summer.
It’s also hard to see how Coulson will dislodge Marc Bola on the left of Boro’s defence, while the Teessiders look set to strengthen on the flanks.
For all his ability and promise, it’s likely Boro would accept an offer for Coulson if the right bid, loan or permanent, was made.