Exclusive: Middlesbrough Join Race For Former League Two Loanee

Salford City loanee Ethan Galbraith is attracting interest from a number of Championship clubs after it was announced that he would leave parent club Manchester United at the end of the season, sources have told TheRealEFL.

Rumours surfaced earlier this month that Sunderland were keen on acquiring the services of the midfielder and we can confirm that the play-off semi-finalists are indeed interested. They are joined by fellow play-off losers Middlesbrough, currently managed by former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick.

Both of the North East rivals will be looking forward to the summer months in order to add quality additions to their squad as they look to launch a fresh promotion charge next season. Middlesbrough will be hoping they have the edge due to Carrick’s previous links with the player at Old Trafford, with the former England international having been a part of the coaching set up alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Who Is Ethan Galbraith?

Galbraith has spent the season on loan at League Two side Salford City, making 38 appearances across all competitions. He played a key role in the Ammies side which reached the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final last week against Stockport County.

The 22-year-old was capped at senior level by Northern Ireland before making a single club appearance in September 2019, although he did make his Manchester United debut later that year in a Europa League tie against Astana.

He embarked on his first loan spell last season with then-League One side Doncaster Rovers in what was his first taste of regular first team football, before pairing up with his former youth team coach Neil Wood at Salford.

Galbraith announced via Instagram earlier this month that his six-year stay at Old Trafford was to come to an end upon the expiration of his contract at the end of the season, thanking the club for helping him grow as a player;

“After six years, my time has come to an end with this magnificent club, Manchester United. I want to thank the club, coaching staff & players for helping me become a better player, a better person and for making me feel at home.

“My earliest ambition as a boy was to become a professional footballer and I’m forever grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity and support to fulfil that dream. It’s been a privilege and I feel very fortune to have been able to represent the club.

“I step into the next chapter of my career a more mature, round-rounded person and I’m excited for what’s next.”

Writer’s View

Galbraith is a player that I have seen a lot of over the years and one that should be able to make the transition to the Championship with ease.

The experience of League One and Two football over the past two seasons will have helped him mature as a player and he will be hoping that a move to England’s second tier will help him get back into the Northern Ireland setup.

Sunderland and Middlesbrough are two huge clubs and there is sure to be interest from elsewhere. Newcastle United have been linked over the past month with the view to immediately send him out on loan, but I would say a permanent move to the Championship is more likely.

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