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

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.

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.

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