The inside track on reported Sunderland and Ipswich Town target Hayden Coulson as Middlesbrough consider options
Sunderland have been linked with a loan move for Middlesbrough left-back Hayden Coulson – but what are the chances of him signing for the Black Cats?
The 23-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at the Riverside and made just six Championship starts last season.
Sunderland’s League One rivals Ipswich have also been credited with interest in the player and it’s believed Boro are open to offers.
Why hasn’t Coulson been playing regularly for Boro?
Coulson broke into Boro’s first team at the start of the 2019/20 campaign after an impressive pre-season under Jonathan Woodgate.
The player’s ability to run with the ball at pace stood out in a struggling side, and Coulson excelled when the Teessiders switched to a back three and he was deployed as a wing-back. He also operated as a winger in a 4-2-3-1 system.
Woodgate and Warnock have both praised Coulson’s attitude in training, yet the latter has reservations about his defensive qualities.
Warnock prefered to play with Marc Bola at left-back last season, while Coulson was used on the right and as a No 10 but didn’t look comfortable.
What’s Coulson’s contract situation?
During his impressive 2019/20 campaign, when he won Boro Supporters’ Young Player of the Year award, Coulson signed a new deal at the Riverside until 2023.
That means if the Teessiders were to loan Coulson out for a season, he would return to the Riverside with only 12 months left on his contract.
As a 23-year-old, the player will want to be at a club where he can play regularly, which suggests a permanent transfer could also be an option.
Boro value players who have come through their academy set-up but did allow goalkeeper Aynsley Pears, then 22, to join Blackburn last summer.
Would Sunderland be a good move for Coulson?
Sunderland need to strengthen in several areas following the departures of first-team players last season.
At left-back, Callum McFadzean has been released while Denver Hume is yet to sign a new contract despite being offered fresh terms.
Given he’s unlikely to be handed regular starts at Boro, a switch to a League One club could benefit Coulson.