With Middlesbrough captain George Friend having been out injured for the majority of the campaign so far, the left-back role has been up for grabs.

Two players have been in contention and constant rotation in the left-back, or left wing-back position, with Marvin Johnson and Hayden Coulson occupying that role so far this season.

It is the latter that has been first choice when fit, starting the season in Middlesbrough’s 3-3 draw away at Luton Town. But an injury just two weeks into the season meant Marvin Johnson deputised in his absence, and even kept his place when Coulson was back to full fitness.

But with Johnson’s recent suspension, this has given Coulson a way back into the team.

When asked about his influences and who he models his playing style on by Teesside Live, the 21-year old was clear on two players who he draws inspiration from.

“I love going forward so I’d probably say (Gareth) Bale, maybe. I liked him when he was a full-back and obviously he moved on to be a winger. I love going forward to be honest” he said.

Coulson also believes that wing-backs should be dynamic and advanced, and admits Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate even shows his Boro team clips of European champions Liverpool, to highlight how he wants the Teessiders’ wing-backs to play.

“That’s definitely the case, especially the way Liverpool play, their formation and the way they press. We have watched a few clips of them to try and kind of copy what they do, especially pressing. Robertson is a fantastic player, isn’t he. All those assists!”