Reports across Middlesbrough’s local press are suggesting that a loan deal is still being worked on for Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon ahead of today’s deadline.
The 32-year-old played a full part in the Eagles’ 1-0 EFL Cup victory over Swansea City on Tuesday night but has been offered no guarantees of regular first-team football by boss Roy Hodgson, fuelling speculation that he’s set to give the green light to a temporary switch to the Riverside Stadium.
Whilst he was a regular in the Palace side prior to the injury he picked up during our 0-0 draw with Manchester City on New Year’s Eve of 2017, the period which followed saw his teammates cope remarkably well and thanks to the arrival of both Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyaté over the summer, not to mention Jeffrey Schlupp’s regular appearances in midfield, it looks as though Puncheon’s first-team chances will be extremely limited at Selhurst Park in the near future.
You can understand why the south London native would be apprehensive about packing his bags and moving to the North East at this stage of his career but in Tony Pulis he has a manager that knows him well, with the promise of far more game-time thrown in. It’s been a turbulent few months for Jason, thanks to the aforementioned lay-off and a much publicised court case but now that he’s back to full fitness, I can see why he’s desperate to let his football take centre stage once more.
Should a loan move fail to materialise I’ll be far from upset but the report referenced above seems pretty confident over Boro’s intentions; now it’s just a case of waiting to see what unfolds in the hours leading up to the deadline.