The Middlesbrough players who could go out on loan before today's transfer deadlines
Middlesbrough may not be able to make any more signings this summer, yet there’s still a possibility some players may leave the Riverside before today’s various transfer deadlines.
It seems extremely unlikely the Teessiders will allow any of their senior players to depart in the next few hours, given the lack of numbers in their first-team squad.
Yet there may be an opportunity for one or two of Boro’s younger players to profit from a loan move before the day is out.
League One and League Two clubs have until 5pm today to complete any deals, while the European windows, including in Scotland, close a couple of hours later.
Boro defenders Sam Stubbs and Enes Mahmutovic have already been sent out on loan to Scottish side Hamilton and Dutch club MVV Maastricht respectively this summer.
So which other Boro players could be available?
A couple of weeks ago that question was put to head coach Jonathan Woodgate, to which he replied: “With how thin we are, it will be touch and go who goes out.
“Connor Malley won’t be going out on loan, no way. Stephen Walker no chance. Nathan Wood, no way. Aynsley Pears is number two keeper at the minute, we can’t be loaning him out.”
That leaves a couple of names who appear to be on the fringes of the first-team squad.
Left-back Patrick Reading, 20, impressed for Boro’s senior side during pre-season but has George Friend, Marc Bola and Hayden Coulson ahead of him in the pecking order.
Similarly, midfielders Ben Liddle, 20, and Stephen Wearne, 18, may benefit by playing more senior football, along with 19-year-old right-back Djed Spence.
Last week, Boro under-23s boss Graeme Lee told the Mail some players are still pencilled down to go out on loan this season, yet the club have been forced to re-evaluate their strategy.
“We’ve got a few playing games at the moment, we’ve got a couple down to go on loan, their pathways won’t change,” said Lee.
“But we have had to re-evaluate who has to stay because the first-team squad is not massive. The 23s squad now, if we lose any more players, I think we’re down to 14, 15.”