Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick expressed deep concern as the injury crisis mounts ahead of West Brom’s clash…

The injury crisis at Middlesbrough has left head coach Michael Carrick with a dwindling number of senior players available for the upcoming clash with West Brom. Currently, 14 senior players are either injured or doubtful for the match, leaving Carrick contemplating potential solutions, including turning to the club’s academy talents.

As the festive football schedule intensifies, Middlesbrough faces a shortage of options due to injuries and suspensions. With the winter transfer window still weeks away, Carrick may have to rely on emerging talents from the academy. Recent success stories, such as Hayden Hackney, Josh Coburn, Marcus Tavernier, and Djed Spence, highlight the potential wealth of talent in Middlesbrough’s ranks.

Cal Kavanagh of Middlesbrough

Among the youngsters who could be called up to address the team’s current challenges are:

  1. Calum Kavanagh (20 years old): The Republic of Ireland U17s player has been in excellent form, scoring 12 goals in 11 games for Boro’s under-21s. Kavanagh’s recent standout performance, including a four-goal haul against Crystal Palace U21s, has garnered attention, and he could be a valuable addition to the first team.
  2. Finlay Cartwright (16 years old): Despite his young age, Cartwright made history as Boro’s second youngest player. After receiving international recognition and interest from clubs like Chelsea, Cartwright has become a regular feature in Carrick’s matchday squads, making him a potential candidate for a full league debut.
  3. Law McCabe (17 years old): Having made his Championship and first-team debut against Preston, McCabe has already been offered his first professional contract. Despite his limited experience, McCabe’s inclusion in recent matchday squads signals Carrick’s confidence in the young midfielder.
  4. Isaac Fletcher (21 years old): A product of Boro’s academy since the age of 10, Fletcher has patiently awaited his breakthrough. With previous loan spells at Hartlepool United and Scunthorpe, the attacking midfielder, now 21, is eager to showcase his skills and secure his future at the club.
  5. Aidan James (AJ) Bridge (18 years old): Highly regarded at Middlesbrough, Bridge’s versatility as a midfielder and central defender has caught Carrick’s attention. After signing a professional contract in 2023, Bridge has continued to impress in various positions, earning a spot in recent matchday squads and potentially featuring more in the upcoming festive period.

As the injury crisis deepens, Carrick may turn to these promising youngsters to bolster the squad and navigate through the challenging period.

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