Middlesbrough player exit seems inevitable after manager's . . .
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Middlesbrough player exit seems inevitable after manager’s revelation.

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Middlesbrough have had a tough season in the Championship.

Boro began the season slowly, failing to win any of their first seven league games after losing to Coventry City in the play-off semi-finals the previous season.

Michael Carrick’s team has progressed tremendously since then, but inconsistency has plagued them all season, proving costly in their chase of another top-six finish.

Boro are closing the season well, but despite a superb performance, their nine-game unbeaten streak came to an end on Monday night as they were defeated 4-3 by Leeds United at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night.

Boro can no longer qualify for the play-offs this season, as they are currently ninth in the table, nine points behind the top six with only two games remaining.

With nothing left to play for this season, Carrick’s focus will shift to the summer transfer window, during which the club is expected to see a lot of incomings and outgoings.

Hayden Coulson, a defender presently on loan at League One club Blackpool, is one player whose future is uncertain.

Coulson has one goal and one assist in 17 appearances across all competitions since joining the Seasiders in January, and head coach Neil Critchley has indicated that he wants to sign him permanently this summer.

“[The loanees] have made a huge difference,” Critchley told the Blackpool Gazette“Hayden has been fantastic.

“That’s the discussions we’ve been having [can they sign them permanently in the summer], we’re always planning ahead.

“With loan players, their parent clubs have something to say, and when they play well, you get interest from elsewhere. They’re not our players so it’s out of our hands.

“They’ve all contributed and shown their value to the club. They’ve also shown what good people they are and how much they’ve enjoyed playing here, so it’s definitely something we will look at when the season ends.”

Hayden Coulson looks set for permanent Middlesbrough exit this summer

Coulson came through the Boro system and, following loan spells at St Mirren and Cambridge United, was given a chance in the first team by Jonathan Woodgate in 2019.

The 25-year-old scored one goal and two assists in 30 games across all competitions as Boro nearly survived relegation from the Championship in 2019-20, although his minutes were reduced after Neil Warnock replaced Woodgate in June 2020.

After falling out of favour at Boro, Coulson has spent time on loan at Ipswich Town, Peterborough United, and Aberdeen in recent years.

Coulson signed a new two-year contract at the Riverside Stadium after returning from Pittodrie in the summer, and with Boro limited on left-back alternatives, he started the club’s first three games of the season in all competitions.

However, following a difficult afternoon in a 3-0 loss to Coventry City in August, Coulson was withdrawn, and Carrick even chose to put midfielder Lewis O’Brien ahead of him at left-back.

The arrivals of Lukas Engel and Alex Bangura near the end of the summer transfer window pushed Coulson further down the pecking order, and he was frequently left out of the matchday squad entirely, with his only other appearance coming as a late substitute in the FA Cup against Aston Villa in January.

Engel and Bangura have both impressed for Boro this season, so Coulson is unlikely to receive many minutes next season, and it is unclear whether Carrick will try to sign Leicester City loanee Luke Thomas permanently this summer.

Despite his impressive performances on loan at Blackpool, it appears unlikely that Coulson will be able to force his way into Carrick’s plans, but he has definitely made an impression on Critchley, and a full-time move to Bloomfield Road may be the ideal answer for all parties.

According to Teesside Live, Boro would likely be willing to trade Coulson to Blackpool this summer, and his permanent departure appears probable, even if a deal with the Seasiders cannot be reached.

 

 

 

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