Middlesbrough have been linked with a move for Conor Hourihane in the January transfer window.
Reports from Teamtalk have claimed that the Teessiders are rivalling Swansea City as they look to strike a deal for the out of favour Aston Villa man.
It’s claimed that Neil Warnock’s side have made an approach, but where would the 29-year-old fit in at the Riverside Stadium?
We take a look at how he might slot into Middlesbrough’s team…
As the graphic above suggests, Hourihane would be a perfect fit for Neil Warnock’s side.
The Middlesbrough boss demands a lot of his midfield players with tactical discipline, work rate and consistency all key attributes that he looks for in his midfield players.
So far this season it’s been Sam Morsy, Jonny Howson and George Saville who have been Warnock’s most reliable players in the middle of the park, however a recent injury to Howson has highlighted the lack of reliable depth in this area.
While the Yorkshireman is now back in action, it seems that Middlesbrough could be looking for a fourth option to provide genuine competition for places in that area.
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Saville is the man to miss out in our graphic, but in truth Hourihane would be an equal threat to both Howson and Morsy as well.
Lewis Wing is another player who can play in central midfield but as we’ve seen this season it appears that Warnock is not entirely convinced that the long-range specialist can do the role that is required on a consistent basis.
That’s why the report from Teamtalk has suggested that he could be allowed to leave this month.
Signing Hourihane is perhaps not a real priority for Middlesbrough based on the fact that he wouldn’t necessarily walk straight into the starting XI, but there’s no doubt that he’d be a success at the club if a move was to be made.