January 2022 could be a busy time for Middlesbrough as Chris Wilder gets to grips with what he wants in his squad for the very first time.
The ex-Sheffield United boss is already starting to get results as evidenced with back-to-back successes over Huddersfield and Swansea City.
But you get the feeling that Wilder would like to add more to the crop of players he currently has if he’s going to put Boro in a play-off or promotion chase.
That could mean letting a few individuals go next month – let’s look at two who may find themselves heading out the exit door of the Riverside.
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Browne was trying to force his way into Neil Warnock’s plans at the start of 2021 and was beginning to do so after scoring against Wycombe Wanderers.
Disaster struck though just days later as a knee injury suffered in the FA Cup against Brentford has ruled him out for most of 2021.
The attacking midfielder is back in training though and he’s pencilled in for a return to under-23’s action soon, and if he’s fit enough to get back into senior matches by the end of January a loan switch to League One could be on the horizon.
It’s doubtful after such a long lay-off that Browne would get ahead of any of the options that Wilder currently has at his disposal so a temporary departure would make a lot of sense.
Wood was sent out on loan to Scottish Premiership side Hibernian in August with the intention of him gaining regular game-time and experience at a decent level.
But after playing just once in the league for Jack Ross’ side, Wood was called back to Boro by Neil Warnock due to Hibs’ refusal to use him more often.
Wood cannot play for Middlesbrough now until January but it may be worth sanctioning another loan for the youngster, perhaps to League One as he featured for Crewe Alexandra 12 times in the second half of last season.
Boro do seemingly need more options in their back three but Wood may not be ready for Championship football just yet whilst League One could be a good fit for the first half of 2022.