, Opinion: Middlesbrough should pass up chance to sign £1.5m Leeds United man and sign 32-year-old

Opinion: Middlesbrough should pass up chance to sign £1.5m Leeds United man and sign 32-year-old

Middlesbrough have two Leeds United players at the club currently, with right-back Luke Ayling and forward Sam Greenwood having joined on loan during the season.

Middlesbrough signed Leeds United‘s Greenwood to fill the void in forward areas left by the exodus of loanees from last season. The likes of attacking left wing-back Ryan Giles, striker Cameron Archer and attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey all re-joined their parent clubs in the summer.

There was also the loss of Championship top scorer Chuba Akpom to contend with, and so head coach Michael Carrick dipped into both the transfer market and the loan market to replace those that departed.

Greenwood was one of those brought in to help revamp their squad and he started the campaign strongly. He scored five goals and registered two assists before the turn of the year. Since then however, he has gone off the boil. He has failed to find the net and assisted just once in his last 15 appearances.

Reports stated that Middlesbrough have an option to sign the 22-year-old for £1.5million at the end of the campaign, but with each passing week he doesn’t start and each under-par performance, the less likely it looks to happen.

Ayling has had an opposite turn of fate at his new loan club. He started shakily but has since made the right wing-back position his own in recent weeks, registering three assists and two clean sheets in his last three games. With his contract up in the summer at his parent club, there is an opportunity for Boro to sign him for free.

Middlesbrough should snub Greenwood, sign Ayling

Although Greenwood offers a strong longer term option given his age, and will be available at a cheap price of £1.5million, he has offered enough in a Middlesbrough shirt to warrant a transfer.

The Teessiders may have sold Morgan Rogers in January to Aston Villa, but Greenwood’s playing time hasn’t increased with less competition for places in his position, and this says a lot.

However, Boro should pursue a short-term deal for Ayling. With the 32-year-old out of contract at Elland Road in a few months time, Middlesbrough should sign him on a free transfer on a one or two year deal.

He has the experience and still has the fitness to compete at this level and to have him available for nothing is a huge opportunity that Carrick’s side shouldn’t pass up.

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