Middlesbrough Opinion: Boro need to act quickly to beat Hull City to the signature of Josh Bowler
According to Hartlepool Mail, Middlesbrough are among a host of Championship clubs who are interested in signing Everton U-23 winger Josh Bowler on loan for the upcoming season, with last season’s playoff finalists Derby County and Hull City also courting the 20-year-old starlet.
However, reports from the Hartlepool Mail suggests that Bowler is closing in on a move to Hull City and the 20-year-old is expected to be the KC Stadium for a medical in the coming weeks, meaning that Middlesbrough are in danger of losing out to the Tigers in the race to sign the talented winger.
Bowler played regularly for Everton U-23s in the Premier League 2 this past season and caught the eye with his consistently impressive displays, helping David Unsworth’s side secure the title.
The 20-year-old Chertsey-born winger has already earned rave reviews for his rapid development in the youth ranks at Everton and a loan spell in the Championship looks likely to be the next big step in his development curve.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Bowler has also showcased the versatility to operate out wide on the left-hand side of the pitch.
The 20-year-old made 16 appearances for the Toffees U-23 side in the Premier League 2 this past season and scored thrice, including the winner in a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion U-23s towards the end of the campaign.
Bowler joined Fulham at the youth level back in 2009 but he was released by the Cottagers in 2011 and furthered his development at the Aldershot academy. Following its closure in 2013, Bowler joined Queens Park Rangers at the reserve level before turning into a full professional in March 2017.
The winger made his first-team debut for QPR in the final game of the 2016-17 EFL Championship season against Norwich City before earning a three-year deal at Everton in the same summer.
Meanwhile, there is an air of fresh breath at the Riverside Stadium following the sacking of Tony Pulis and the subsequent appointment of Jonathan Woodgate.
Middlesbrough finished 7th in the previous campaign and narrowly lost out to Derby County in the race for the final playoff spot but the Teessiders will be expected to launch a renewed bid for promotion under their new manager next term.
Boro have set the ball rolling in the summer transfer window with the acquisition of Spanish goalkeeper Tomas Mejias on a free transfer but the Teessiders are yet to make the headlines with any statement signings.
Considering that Boro scored only 49 goals in the Championship this past season, Woodgate is expected to have some attacking reinforcements in his wishlist for the upcoming campaign, whilst a central midfielder also needs to be brought in to cover for the departures of Mo Besic and John Obi Mikel.
Furthermore, the departure of Stewart Downing has left Middlesbrough with a massive void to fill down the left-hand side of the pitch.
It is true that Boro still have the likes of George Friend, George Saville, as well as the highly-rated Marcus Tavernier vying for a spot on the left but bringing in another burgeoning talent like Josh Bowler could prove to be a wise move from Woodgate and definitely a shrewd piece of business for the club.
Bowler is highly-rated at Goodison Park and, while he doesn’t have much senior experience under his belt, it would not be a bad idea for Boro to provide him with an opportunity to prove his credentials. The 20-year-old’s arrival would increase competition for places in the ranks and add much-needed depth in a key area of the pitch for Woodgate.
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Keeping that in mind, Middlesbrough need to act quickly in order to beat Hull City to the signature of the promising 20-year-old Everton sensation.