Opinion: Why Middlesbrough should opt against a move for Birmingham City youngster

Opinion: Why Middlesbrough should opt against a move for Birmingham City youngster

Middlesbrough are interested in a deal for Birmingham City midfielder Jobe Bellingham, according to TEAMtalk’s report on Thursday.

The 17-year-old may be in the shadow of brother Jude at this point – but Jobe has still made his full breakthrough into the first team of his current side this season and that’s a real achievement considering his age.

And with that, it’s no shock that other sides are standing up and taking notice of his progress at St Andrew’s, although it’s perhaps somewhat surprising that some of the Midlands team’s league rivals are taking a peek at him.

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His contract length may not be announced but when he has more than six months left on his deal it would be difficult to see John Eustace’s side selling him cheap (particularly to a league rival) and that is one of the reasons why it’s a surprise See how a club like Boro is said to be taking a closer look at him.

However, Michael Carrick’s side need to improve their midfield with the need for a long-term replacement for Jonny Howson. So it makes sense to target someone like Bellingham who has his entire career ahead of him.

A permanent move for the Birmingham man would also be logical given they already have four players on loan in their squad and other areas at Riverside also need to be addressed during the January transfer window.

But it’s the fact that they need to recruit players in other positions that makes this potential move one they must decide against – because it could cost Boro a significant sum considering how high he is at St Andrew’s is.

Carrick’s side don’t just need to address their midfield – another winger could also come in handy considering the formation has changed and a marquee signing in the forward department could also prove useful.

The credit market can again be used for some additions – but Boro already has four on the books and will certainly prefer to build long-term instead. Because of that, they could focus on clinching a couple of multi-million pound deals over the next month.

Steve Gibson may have made a significant amount of money from sales of Djed Spence and Marcus Tavernier over the summer – but he’s invested in a significant number of players over the last two summer windows and therefore some of that income must be used to back the books to balance.

It’s just one of several reasons why a deal for Bellingham is likely impossible at this point – and Boro would likely benefit from a more experienced option in this space anyway, considering they already have a promising youngster of their own in Hayden Hackney.

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