Former Sunderland and England Under-21 international Duncan Watmore looks set to join Middlesbrough. Sky Sports and Scott Wilson of the Northern Echo report that the 26-year-old winger is to sign a short-term deal with the Championship club. Watmore has been without a club since being released by Sunderland during the summer.
Watmore will be looking to get his career back on track after several long-term injuries stalled the progress on what appeared to be a bright future several years ago.
Watmore Set to Sign for Middlesbrough
Released by Sunderland
Watmore spent seven years on Wearside; however, during the summer, Sunderland called time on his stay at the Stadium of Light. The flying winger was seen as a hot prospect when he arrived and showed glimpses of what he was capable of as the Black Cats battled to survive in the Premier League.
Watmore’s potential and form earned him call-ups to England’s Under-20 and 21 squads. He helped his country win the 2016 Toulon tournament, beating France in the final.
However, with Watmore missing the majority of the Black Cats’ slide from the Premier League to League One and his contract coming to an end, Sunderland made the decision not to renew his deal and release him.
Injury Plagued Career
What looked to be a promising career in the game for Duncan Watmore soon turned into one plagued with injury after two serious injuries and several other frustrating spells on the sidelines slowed his development.
In 2016, Watmore suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury which kept him out of action for almost a year. After recovering and regaining his place in the first team, the same knee ruptured again.
Although the winger returned once more, several other injuries stopped him from cementing his place in the Sunderland first team. Many fans would have liked the forward to stay; however, with his injury record and a salary cap to think of, Sunderland decided it would be in the best interests of both parties to part ways.
Successful Trial at Middlesborough for Duncan Watmore
Duncan Watmore, without a club since leaving the Black Cats has been training with Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough side for several weeks and both are interested in extending that stay. Boro are currently working under a tight budget but are hoping a short-term deal can be agreed and start after the next international break.
Speaking about the situation, Boro boss Neil Warnock said:
“He’s (Watmore) different, and available. He’s been training hard. We would probably only do it until January.
“It would be nice to do something, and I’m hoping something might be sorted after the international break. But as I’ve said before, what will be, will be really. We’ll just have to get on with it if we can’t.
“I’m not really prepared to sign anyone at the moment because of the circumstances, but Duncan is aware of that. He’s aware of how much I’m enjoying him training – I’m hoping we can come to some agreement sooner rather than later.”
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