By Jason McKeown
Phil Parkinson has moved quickly to replace long-term injury absentee Kyel Reid – signing Middlesbrough left winger Adam Reach on a month’s loan.
20-year-old Reach is another product of Boro’s highly-regarded youth academy, and spent the first half of this season on loan at League One rivals Shrewsbury Town, where he was a regular. Reach also played 20 times for Middlesbrough last season, scoring on his home debut in August 2012.
It will be very interesting to see just how Reach’s time at Valley Parade pans out – and whether he represents a change in Parkinson’s long-term loan strategy. With the exception of Andrew Davies and Ricky Ravenhill during his first season in charge, the manager has rarely used the loan market for anything more than strengthening the depth of his squad.
Last season, City brought in Craig Forsyth, Tom Naylor, Curtis Good, Blair Turgott and Ryan Dickson in on loan, but only the latter – who suffered a bad injury early in his time – was seemingly ear-marked to feature regularly (and even then, only because James Meredith was injured). It has been the same story this time around, with Reach’s team-mate Connor Ripley used as back-up to Jon McLaughlin, and recent loan recruits Aaron Jameson and Jordan Graham yet to feature.
Parkinson’s loan approach has won him favour with supporters – plus Julian Rhodes, who over the past decade has sanctioned more than his fair share of temporary signings who subsequently underwhelmed – and has rightly or wrongly being held up as one reason for team spirit being so high. Yet with Parkinson robbed of his influential left flank, as both Meredith and Reid sit on the sidelines, the need for a quick fix has been heightened.
Nevertheless, will Reach come straight into the side against Preston North End next Tuesday? And if he does, what does that tell us about Parkinson’s views on the club’s other left-sided player, Mark Yeates? The summer signing has flattered to deceive and was roundly criticised for his feeble display against Sheffield United on Saturday. Yet there is a widely-held assumption that Yeates is earning good money – certainly higher than should ideally be allocated to the squad player status that he has held.
Reach is said to possess greater pace than Yeates – something City will desperately need in the absence of Reid. But one is left pondering about whether Parkinson is about to alter his long-term loan stance in view of the circumstances, and what such a change – of favouring a loanee, potentially for the remainder of the season – would say about the future of the man he would be selected in front of.
Parkinson has no option other than to dip his toe into the loan market. We all know that loan markets can be very hit and miss, but having looked at some of the comments on the ability of Adam Reach i would almost certainly say he will start on Saturday.
This option is not be the norm for Parky, and nor should it be the new (old) way forward. The squad is extremely light at the moment and the recent run of results proves that in startling fashion. So these ‘tweaks’ to bolster the squad are really the only viable options.
I think there is no chance Reach will start on Saturday.
We’re not playing !
Hmmm, good point so eloquently put.
Of course i meant to say on Tuesday against Preston 🙂
This looks like the right kind of loan signing (unlike Graham) to me. With his contract up in the summer, this loan offers us the chance to take a good look at him. Hopefully he’ll impress and we’ll be in prime position to sign him permanently.
I don’t think Reach’s contract is up in the summer – a quick google suggests it runs until 2016.
One thing regarding Yeates. I know he’s been pretty poor for us so far but from what I’ve read, he’s been carrying a knee injury. It would explain why he pulled out of that 50/50 challenge the other day. Not a coward but sensibly not risking serious damage.
If i remember correctly, Andrew Davies came to us on loan initially. Worth remembering.
Hi Barry. I mentioned Andrew Davies (and Ricky Ravenhill) in the piece as rate examples of PP using loans for first team places.
True true. Loans are not necessarily evil. Yeats is never a winger. Should be said.
Adam Reach will start against Preston, If Yeates had more pace he would be given Reid’s spot, for me Yeates can only replace Thompson and even then there is a marked loss of pace on that flank which Yeates could make up for with other facets of his game, unfortunately Mark along with other players seems to lacking confidence at the minute. Adam Reach is an excellent signing, think he’ll sparkle in his time at Valley Parade.
we should be trying to loan out kennedy taylor and yeates and pay off gray all poor sighnings we also have players running down contracts very similar situation to last relegation from this league
Understand from a Boro supporting pal that Reach is not really an out & out wingers, more an “attacking mid fielder who likes to drift out wide”, who though is excellent “on his day”. Wonder if this lad being comfortable in the middle could mix things up there a bit too – although hopefully not at expense of leaving the LB (whoever he may be!) unsupported, as we saw with McHugh and Yeates at Brammall Lane!
From what I have seen of mark yeates he isn’t a winger, suited more as a link between midfield and striker/s. Hopefully Reach can perform on the left, we need it.