Why Middlesbrough over Leeds could be the ideal destination for the Bundesliga bench warmer
Liverpool’s highly rated young winger Ryan Kent is reportedly being chased by Championship duo Leeds United and Middlesbrough ahead of next month’s transfer window.
Having made 44 league appearances when borrowed by Barnsley last season, Kent was sent out on loan once again for a season-long deal at Freiburg in Germany this term but has made just 6 Bundesliga appearances including one start.
Given his lack of game time, Anfield supremos are said to be considering recalling the 21-year-old and allowing him another crack at the Championship where he did so well last season, putting the two promotion chasers on high alert.
His 3 league goals last term were overshadowed by his overall performances and it’s felt he would be even better at this level now. Kent also made his senior Liverpool debut in 2016, playing in the FA Cup, but has not appeared for the Reds since then and is desperately in need of game time to aid his development.
Still highly rated by Jurgen Klopp, or by the club hierarchy at least, Kent signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool in the summer before joining Freiburg, with the player acknowledging at the time that the move was a big achievement.
Their lack of willingness to play the young man in the first-team though is not ideal for Liverpool, nor for the player himself and it seems a run in England’s second tier once again is what is needed.
Leeds United seem to have found a really good combo of late; Alioski and Roofe finding their feet on the right and left of the attack respectively with Samu Saiz ideal in the no.10 role, even keeping Pablo Hernandez out of the side on merit.
Middlesbrough, on the other hand, don’t seem to overtly trust either Stewart Downing nor Adama Traore to play regularly down the right with an expectation of them to change games and so it seems like Kent would get more game time by joining Boro.
The Riverside would be a good place for him to play right now; potentially more game time, slightly less pressure than at Elland Road and perhaps eventually just as high a chance of being involved in a promotion too.
Either club would be a step up from what he is doing in the Bundesliga, i.e. warming the bench, however, it seems like Middlesbrough would be able to offer him the regular football he needs.