Martin Payero announced himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Championship as Middlesbrough comfortably beat Cardiff City 2-0 on 23rd October.
The Argentinian was instrumental in the win and opened his account for the club in the process.
Payero has started just two league games since and has fallen down the pecking order with various availability issues cropping up.
Chris Wilder gave an update on the big money summer signing when he spoke to TeessideLive.
He said: “I’m looking forward to working with him. He’s had a stop-start start to his Middlesbrough career, not just with me but with the previous manager.
“He’s another one who has got to fight for his place in the team.
“The team is going well but we all need that competition and players have got to fight their way in.
“That’s not up to me, that’s up to the players.
“The onus is on Martin to work hard in training and then take any opportunity he gets. He needs to stay healthy which he hasn’t been able to do so far, he needs to stay fit which he hasn’t been able to do so far.”
Riley McGree, Folarin Balogun and Aaron Connolly have arrived at The Riverside in the first half of the January transfer window, with the former a direct competitor for a spot in the side to Payero.
Quiz: Can you name which club Middlesbrough signed these 28 defenders from?
There is an element of asset management that needs to come into play here.
There still is not massive amounts of depth in central and attacking midfield roles at Boro, making it very feasible that Payero could go on to establish himself back in the first team.
However, if Chris Wilder does not feel that that is very likely, it would be counter-productive for Payero to be left out of the picture in the second half of the season.
Marcus Tavernier has adjusted admirably to a central attacking midfield role under Wilder adding to the list of personnel being preferred to Payero.
As the fixtures come thick and fast in the coming months, the Argentinian should have a part to play but if more central midfielders sign on the dotted line this month then a temporary exit could be a smart move.