Middlesbrough defender Hayden Coulson has suffered a setback in his recovery from a tendon injury and will miss another few weeks of action.
The Northern Echo reported that the 21-year-old is likely to be out for another six weeks after experiencing a recurrence of a tendon problem that had sidelined him for the last month.
According to The Northern Echo, Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate had been hopeful that the left-back was making good progress on his injury rehabilitation until this unfortunate development.
He won two of his four tackles in that game and recorded two interceptions, although he misplaced 11 of his 33 attempted passes and was dribbled past twice in the match at Kenilworth Road. [via WhoScored.com]
In his player ratings for that game, Hartlepool Mail‘s Joe Nicholson gave the debutant a seven and said that he “was a constant outlet on the left in the second half and won a penalty for his side late on”.
A week later against Brentford, his tackling was much improved, winning four of five attempted, and he also made four interceptions and won two aerial duels. Remarkably, he attempted (and missed) the same number of passes against the Bees as he had in the Luton game. [via WhoScored.com]
Coulson is not the only left-back facing several weeks on the sidelines, with George Friend also set to be out for some time after going for surgery on a long-standing abductor injury, as reported by The Northern Echo.
With those two ruled out, Marc Bola is the only fit left-back in Woodgate’s senior squad. The 21-year-old made his Middlesbrough debut in last month’s Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Crewe and has started the last three Championship games.
So far this season, Bola has recorded a better passing success rate than Coulson (71.8% to 66.7%) and has averaged 1.7 dribbles per game to Coulson’s 0.5, with both players winning one aerial duel per match.
Bola has only won one tackle and made one interception per game, though, with Coulson averaging three each per game. The latter had also made two key passes in two matches this season, compared to one in three league appearances for Bola.
Coulson and Bola are both 21 and are both new faces in Middlesbrough’s first team, while there doesn’t appear to be much to choose between them based on their statistics from the early weeks of the season.
However, with Friend also out for a number of weeks, Coulson’s injury setback has been unfortunately timed and leaves Woodgate with no backup for Bola.
Should anything happen to him in the next few games, the ‘Boro manager would be left either shoehorning someone into an unfamiliar role or dipping into the club’s academy for alternatives.
Middlesbrough fans, are you concerned about the left-back position with Coulson set to miss several more games? Comment below with your views!
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