This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the situation at hand…
Middlesbrough haven’t got off to the start they would have originally hoped for in the Championship this season, with Jonathan Woodgate’s side currently sat in the relegation zone heading into the international break.
So it’s clear to understandable as to why Woodgate is coming under pressure from some sections of the club’s supporters, who would have thought that their side could challenge for a top-six finish this season after narrowly missing out on a spot in the play-offs under Tony Pulis’ guidance last term.
It’s important that Woodgate makes the necessary additions to his squad in the January transfer window, otherwise they could be facing a tough ask to survive this season in the Championship.
But given their slump in form in this year’s campaign, other clubs are seemingly keen to take advantage of Middlesbrough’s possible relegation from the second tier.
It has recently been reported by The Northern Echo that Stoke City are weighing up a move for Boro defender George Friend ahead of the January transfer window.
Friend has had his fair share of injury problems this season, which has seen him make just three appearances in all competitions for Woodgate’s men.
His absence could be one of the reasons as to why Middlesbrough have struggled to pick up points this term, and Friend’s experience could certainly come in useful when the club are in such a dismal run of form.
But with Stoke City reportedly interested in landing his signature, Friend could have a tough decision to make about his future at the Riverside.
He’s been a fantastic servant to Middlesbrough over the years, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him being tempted by a new challenge, especially as he’s not seen as much game time as he would have liked to since returning from injury.
For any player, they’re going to want to play as much as they can, and given that Friend is now 32, he’ll be keen to showcase his talent before his prime days are over.
If Stoke can guarantee him regular game time, then he will have surely had his head turned by their rumoured interest in his services, and he could be key to their survival chances in the Championship this term under Michael O’Neil..