, Michael Carrick confirms Middlesbrough starlet will get first-team chances after injury lay-off

Michael Carrick confirms Middlesbrough starlet will get first-team chances after injury lay-off

Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick has spoken to Teesside Live about returning striker Sonny Finch, his impact for the academy side and the possibility of reintroducing him into the first-team fold.

Middlesbrough have had issues with strikers all season. When fit, both Emmanuel Latte Lath and Josh Coburn have managed to find the net on a semi-consistent basis.

But injuries to the duo has limited their opportunities to find form and trouble those at the top of the Championship goalscoring charts.

Last season gave teenager Finch a handful of chances in the first-team fold, introducing him three times from the bench in the latter half of the campaign. But this season, injury has kept him out.

However, since returning from injury last month he has scored four goals and registered one assist in just four games, and was rewarded with a place on the bench in the senior side’s 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

“I’m delighted for Finchy. He’s had a few issues with his ankle on and off for a period of time so we took the decision to try and get it sorted now and be patient with him, to give him a period of time to get back training, get fit, spend some time just getting himself back to his level and being really patient with him,” head coach Michael Carrick told Teesside Live.

“He’s playing and scoring goals, that’s kind of what he does. He always finds a way to find the back of the net. It’s great to see. The longer it goes, we’ll get him back around us as time goes on. It’s great to see him back fit, he’s so young and he has his whole career ahead of him. There’s loads of time for him.”

A great long-term option for Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough have a reputation for giving youth players a chance in the first-team fold, and Carrick has carried the mantle on in his tenure at the club so far. The likes of Hayden Hackney, Isaiah Jones and Dael Fry have all made a name for themselves in the senior side having graduated from the academy.

Carrick has continued this trend, giving chances to Finch, Law McCabe, Fin Cartwright and Calum Kavanagh before his move to Bradford City. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see Carrick suggesting Finch would be used going forwards.

The 18-year-old presents Boro with a great long-term option. To see him in the U21 setup at such a young age and thriving, as well as being given chances in the first-team shows just how good he is and just how good he could be. He’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

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