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Chris Wilder confirms interest in Middlesbrough first-teamer amid uncertain future

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Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has hinted that he will consider sending young striker Josh Coburn out on loan later this window after receiving enquiries for his services, speaking to Teesside Live.

The second-tier outfit currently have a shortage of options up front, with only one new forward arriving at the Riverside Stadium since the start of the summer with Marcus Forss sealing his move on Thursday.

Since the end of last season though, Andraz Sporar, Aaron Connolly and Folarin Balogun have all returned to their respective parent clubs and Uche Ikpeazu has been deemed surplus to requirements, having spent the second half of last term out on loan at Cardiff City.

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Akpom was another player that was told he could leave – but has been integrated into the first team once more with Wilder needing a sufficient number of options to play two up top.

His future remains unclear though – and Boro are likely to be in the market for at least one more forward as they try to ensure they have a considerable amount of attacking firepower in their forward department.

With their current lack of options in this area, Coburn was a substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion, though Wilder believes he could be better served going out on loan at some point.

He said: “We’ve got really high hopes for Josh, but we possibly feel that in his progression and his development that he maybe needs to go out [on loan] and play regular football and get into a rhythm.

“But right now, he’s here, Chuba’s here having a go, Dunc is here having a go on one leg, and we all understand where we’re at.

“We’ve had loads of people enquire about him. That’s what we think and what we feel. We like to think we know what’s best for the boy’s development as well.

“We know that every time he puts that shirt on he’ll give everything that he’s got to give, and if we do decide to keep him in the building then fine.”

The Verdict:

It’s a shame Coburn hasn’t been allowed to go out on loan earlier this summer so he could have a full pre-season of football under his belt with a new side – because that would have helped him to settle in and hit the ground running.

However, Boro simply weren’t in the position to loan him out considering their state of play up top and in fairness, the 19-year-old will have richly benefitted from training with Championship-level players.

If his side are to send him out on loan, they should be looking for a club in the third tier because that could give him a chance to start every week and prove he should be competing in the top two divisions of English football.

Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson enjoyed a very good loan spell at Lincoln City and a temporary stay away from the Riverside could be just as instrumental for Coburn’s career.

After this time away from Teesside, Boro can then make a judgement on whether he’s ready to compete with them or needs to go out on loan once more.

Which division Wilder’s side will be in during the 2023/24 campaign could also be crucial in determining how much playing time he gets at that point in the future.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Chris Wilder confirms interest in Middlesbrough first-teamer amid uncertain future

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