Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate says he wants to make loan duo Harold Makoudi and Patrick Roberts’ moves to the Riverside Stadium permanent when the transfer window reopens.
Both Makoudi and Roberts joined ‘Boro on loan during the January transfer window, moving from French side St Etienne and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City respectively.
Centre back Makoudi has since made seven appearances for ‘Boro, while Roberts has featured four times in total for the Championship club, with injuries having restricted the 23-year-old’s chances somewhat.
It is thought that St Etienne will be willing to sell Makoudi in the summer amid interest from a number of other clubs, while another of Roberts’ former loan clubs, Scottish champions Celtic, have reportedly made an approach to Manchester City about signing the attacker permanently.
Woodgate however, is hopeful that the pair will both be part of his side next season, as when asked about making their moves permanent, the ‘Boro boss told Teesside Live: “We’re in unprecedented times and we don’t know how things are going to work out (with the transfer window), but I’d love to sign them, I’m a big fan of them both.”
Indeed, it seems preparing for the upcoming transfer window has become something of a priority during the ongoing suspension of the season, and discussing his search for potential signings, Woodgate revealed: “Recruitment is going to be vital for us. You look back to the start of last season, we got rid of six or seven and brought in three, so it’s always going to be difficult.
“I’ve been doing a lot of recruitment work (during lockdown) and speaking to the recruitment department regularly. I’ve been watching players who the recruitment team have watched and we’ve all been forming an opinion – we might have different views on those players so we have discussions.
“I just want to make sure we’re ready for when things get going again.”
With nine games of the season still to be played at some point, Middlesbrough are currently 19th in the Championship table, two points clear of the relegation zone.
This does look to be rather promising for Middlesbrough.
Both Makoudi and Roberts have been impressive for them since joining in January, so you can understand the desire to make their moves permanent, and you wonder whether their familiarity with ‘Boro could give them an advantage in the battle for their signatures.
With a lack of recruitment having left them somewhat short on numbers at times this season, you feel it is vital they avoid a similar scenario again next season, and it seems as though Woodgate is working to avoid that here, with that initiative to ensure he is taking the opportunity of the current delay to proceedings to prepare himself something he should take some credit for.