Middlesbrough face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park this weekend, and after dropping points in their last two games, many Boro fans have called for the return of a certain goalscoring midfielder.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has opted for a 5-4-1 formation in recent weeks, with width coming from wing-backs Ryan Shotton and George Friend.
However, with Dani Ayala and Aden Flint missing the trip to Blackburn through suspension and injury respectively, one of Shotton or Friend will be expected to deputise at centre-back.
One option would be to deploy summer signing Paddy McNair at right-back, but he does not possess the ability of Shotton in that position to get up and down the pitch, and Pulis could be forced to change formation.
One player Boro fans are desperate to see return to the fold is home grown talent Marcus Tavernier, who has three goals in 10 appearances in the Championship this season from wide areas, and four in all competitions.
His goals tally puts him third in the Teesiders’ list of top scorers for the season, despite having played significantly less than strikers Jordan Hugill and Britt Assombalonga, who sit first and second with seven and 11.
My suggestion would be Tavernier and Britt instead of Saville and Howson switching to a basic 4-4-2
— Michael Wear (@MichaelWear2) February 15, 2019
Another player Boro fans want to see more of is Rajiv van La Parra (‘VLP’) The winger was signed from Huddersfield Town in the summer on a short-term loan but has not yet started a game in the Championship for his new club.
I think Britt can play up top with support from Tav and VLP out wide, and Sav and Wing giving support from midfield.
I think we're more likely to see Mcnair at right back and Shotton centre back instead of Wood. Top future but doubt we would throw him in at a tough away ground
— Yusuf (@YusufBoroFan) February 14, 2019
We don’t have great wingers, which is more baffling to why Tav isn’t even on the bench, he’s got the best stats in the full team for goals to minutes played. We seen the impact wing has made since given a chance and a propa run in the side, Tav should be 100% involved.
— Stuart Mooney (@studdy2k) February 14, 2019
Middlesbrough have a poor record at Ewood Park, not winning at the home of Blackburn since 2012. Could Tavernier be the difference and get Boro back to winning ways?