This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Uche Ikpeazu may only recently have made the move to Middlesbrough but it looks like his time with the Championship side could soon be up, as Football Insider is reporting he could be let go in the winter transfer window.
The 26-year-old has featured 14 times so far this campaign for Boro and has even managed to contribute with two goals and an assist along the way.
However, the introduction of a new manager is Chris Wilder may have brought some fresh ideas into the side and it looks as though Ikpeazu may not be a part of the former Sheffield United boss’ plans.
He could instead have to look for a new place to call home in the turn of the year – and although there will likely not be a shortage of suitors, it means that his time at Boro has been short.
Here then, is the verdict from some of our writers on a potential deal for the striker and whether it is the right move from Boro boss Chris Wilder or not…
Uche Ikpeazu looked a real threat at the start of the season under Neil Warnock but has struggled to earn a run in the team ever since. His contract at the Riverside runs until the summer of 2024, so there is plenty of time for Boro to seek a return on their investment if he is not in Chris Wilder’s plans.
Boro are not blessed with a plethora of striking options so if there are no imminent arrivals come the turn of the year it would be wise to keep Ikpeazu from a squad depth point of view. Andraz Sporar has received patience and consistency of selection where Ikpeazu has not even with a similarly below par record in front of goal.
Quiz: What club do these 22 rarely-seen ex-Middlesbrough players play at now?
I think Wilder will be able to get something out of Ikpeazu and letting him go would be a mistake given the variety he adds to the Boro attacking contingent.
When you have an 18-year-old move ahead of you in the pecking order – no disrespect to Josh Coburn who is a talented player – then you know your time is running out.
It is slightly surprising that he’s leaving purely because he only came in during the summer on a three-year contract, but Ikpeazu was clearly one of Warnock’s signings and it did feel as though he could have been one of the Wilder revolution’s first victims.
At this stage, it looks as though he will be after only scoring twice in 14 games, and the addition of a new striker in January, a position Wilder reportedly wants to address, the fresh face, Coburn, Andraz Sporar and Duncan Watmore will all be competing for a spot.
This would leave the 26-year-old as fifth choice in the pecking order, and with Boro investing quite a lot of money into their playing squad during the summer with their flurry of new arrivals, cashing in on the forward would probably be a smart move by officials at The Riverside Stadium.
Whether he can secure another second-tier move remains to be seen, but he doesn’t strike you as the sort of person who could lead Boro to promotion at this stage. And that’s their eventual aim, so it would probably be best for both parties to sever ties.
When you consider just how poor Ikpeazu has been this season, it is hardly a shock that Wilder is reportedly considering the possibility of cutting ties with the forward.
After showing some signs of promise at this level for Wycombe Wanderers last season, the 26-year-old would have been hoping to reach new heights during his time at the Riverside Stadium.
However, Ikpeazu has only managed to find the back of the net on two occasions for Boro and is currently averaging an underwhelming WhoScored match rating of 6.50 in the Championship.
By securing a respectable fee for Ikpeazu, Wilder could use the money generated from this sale to stamp his own authority on the club’s squad in January.