Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has revealed to BBC Radio that former Oxford United loanee Marcus Browne could leave on loan, putting a host of clubs on red alert.
It will be of particular interest to Oxford United, who were credited with wanting to take the 22-year-old on a permanent deal this summer. Browne has enjoyed two loan spells at the Kassam, once from West Ham where he bagged nine times in 44 outings, and again last season from Boro where he hit five in 16 games.
Browne s on the cusp of the first-team picture at the Riverside, leaving Warnock with a big call to make.
“It’s an awkward one because I’m not sure even Marcus himself knows,” said the Boro boss. “It’s one of those where he’s kind of in-between either that position or this position. In an ideal world, it would be better for Marcus to go out [on loan] and play.”
Having said that, Warnock is wanting to wait until the last possible minute to make a call on the former West Ham man after a strong pre-season showing.
“I think he’s done so well for us in pre-season that I do want to have a look at him right until the end,” added the veteran boss. “If he can do a job for us and he wants to do a job for us – and it does appear that he wants to do it – then I don’t think we should rush into a loan move until January.”
Browne has also enjoyed a loan spell with Wigan Athletic and joined Boro in a deal thought to have been worth around £300,000.
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This could be a big signing for Oxford if they can pull it off. Browne is clearly a player Karl Robinson trusts, and having signed for Oxford twice it seems the feeling is somewhat mutual.
At 22, he is a player who still has a big future in the upper echelons of the game, but he needs senior action. If that isn’t going to be forthcoming at Boro, then a move to a club he knows well that plays a style that suits him is best.
By the way, that supposed £300,000 fee looks to be a real bargain too. There is huge potential in Marcus Browne, ask any Oxford fan, and with a run of games, his value could triple, at least.