Middlesbrough have already had a positive start to the January transfer window as Chris Wilder looks to strengthen his squad.
The former Sheffield United boss has done a brilliant job since he was named as Neil Warnock’s successor, and fans are excited about what the future will hold if he is backed properly this month.
Whilst the excitement will focus on incomings, Boro also need to keep hold of key men. And, they may face a battle in that sense, after reports suggested Marcus Tavernier is attracting interest from Newcastle United.
But, is the 23-year-old ready for that step up? Could he make a mark in the Premier League? Here our writers share their thoughts…
Marcus Tavernier is an excellent asset for Chris Wilder to have at his disposal, and whilst he certainly has the potential and ability to operate at Premier League level, a move to Newcastle United is perhaps not the next best step for his progression.
The Magpies are in a very precarious position where they could quite easily drop down to the Championship next season, but if they do manage to ensure their top-tier status, then they are likely to attract world-class players to St James’ Park.
Should a move go ahead now, then Tavernier would find it difficult to break into a star-studded side that Newcastle could possess past next summer.
Middlesbrough is a very exciting place to be at present, and Wilder will be extremely ambitious about the club’s chances of glory this season.
Tavernier could be a big part in what remains of Boro’s season.
Have each of these 24 ex-Middlesbrough academy players ever played in the Premier League?
I think this would be a good signing for Newcastle but I’m not sure if he’s what they need right now.
Conceding goals is their main problem, so I would like to think that they’ll be prioritising the signings of some defenders.
Tavernier is still developing at Boro and would probably be best served to stay there till the end the season as opposed to leaving now.
He could well get to the top flight with Boro anyway, so it would make little sense to leave whilst they are on the up.
I’m sure he will leave the Riverside Stadium one day but this January isn’t the right time in my opinion.
I can’t say I’m convinced that Marcus Tavernier is the right signing for Newcastle right now.
Looking long term, he could be just the sort of player that Eddie Howe could help grow into an asset in the Premier League but he’s not quite there yet.
Newcastle’s focus this month has to be making signings to help them avoid relegation and, for me, Tavernier is simply not that.
I don’t doubt that he’ll be a top flight player in the future but there are so many issues that Howe needs to sort in this squad that this shouldn’t be near the top of the list.
In the summer? Yes. Now? No.