Report: Middlesbrough want to sign Kilmarnock's Stephen O'Donnell

Jonathan Woodgate assistant coach of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on May 8, 2017 in London, England.

Stephen O'Donnell could reportedly return to England with Jonathan Woodgate's Championship strugglers Boro in January.

Stephen O'Donnell of Kilmarnock looks on during the Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Hamilton at Rugby Park on October 27, 2018 in Kilmarnock, United Kingdom.

Championship strugglers Middlesbrough are interested in reinforcing their ailing backline with the signing of Kilmarnock’s Scotland international right-back Stephen O’Donnell in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail (6 October, page 127).

Jonathan Woodgate was supposed to revitalise a Boro side who missed out on the play-offs last season while entertaining precisely nobody thanks to the typically pragmatic style of Tony Pulis. But at least Pulis could organise a defence, which cannot be said of Woodgate right now.

 

A 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City on Friday means Middlesbrough are 20th in the Championship having won just two of their 11 games under the former England defender. The North East outfit have also conceded 16 goals so far.

So O’Donnell would represent a potential improvement, and a more natural full-back option than Anfernee Dijksteel on the right-hand side.

Stephen O'Donnell of Scotland in action during the International Friendly match between Scotland and Portugal at Hampden Park on October 14, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

The former Luton Town ace is out of contract next summer and, as a result, he could leave Kilmarnock for a cut-price fee in the New Year with Middlesbrough setting their sights on a bargain.

O’Donnell’s ability at both ends of the pitch should make him a useful addition to a side who have struggled to keep goals out while being held back by a paucity of creativity in the final third too.

Stephen O'Donnell of Kilmarnock during the UEFA Champions League Qualification first leg match between Connah's Quay Nomads and Kilmarnock on July 11, 2019 in Rhyl, Wales.

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