Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has admitted that Boro might now have to wait until January to sign a new left-back with their search for a free-agent not paying off.
Boro had been in the market to add to their left-back options further before the summer transfer window came to end.
That came after they allowed Hayden Coulson to make the move to Ipswich Town, but they were unable to find a replacement in the end.
The lack of a new left-back addition in the summer has meant that Marc Bola is Middlesbrough’s only senior option down the left-hand side of their defence.
That issue has been heightened by the defender having now picked up an injury issue that ruled him out of Middlesbrough’s trip to Coventry City on Saturday.
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Speaking to Teesside Live, Warnock revealed that Middlesbrough have been searching for a free-agent at left-back but admitted that the search has proven unsuccessful so far with them missing out on a couple of options. He also conceded they might have to wait until January to sign someone now.
He said: “There are (left-backs available) but there are not that many English players, we were looking at a couple but they got snapped up.
“It’s pointless just taking anybody on, especially as a lot of the foreign lads that are available haven’t played. It’s really difficult, so if we have to wait until January, we’ll have to do that really.”
It is always difficult when clubs leave themselves needing to potentially rely on the free-agent market to bolster a position that should have been sorted out in the summer window.
That is where Middlesbrough now find themselves and Warnock is not the type of manager that will want to just bring anyone into his squad to fill a position at left-back for a few months.
Therefore, Middlesbrough were always likely to struggle to find the right player to bring into their squad to challenge for the left-back position with Bola and fill in for him now that he is out injured.
Any new signing that was brought in on a free transfer would likely have needed time to build up their fitness anyway.
That means that they might not have been able to just come straight into the side to replace Bola, so it might be wise to just wait until the winter window now.
Boro will have to make sure though that they find and sign the right player to bring into the squad at left-back in January now. That is because they have had a lot of time to assess their options and the position needs addressing.