It’s been a fantastic few months for Bristol Rovers’ Josh Coburn. On loan from Middlesbrough until January 1, his loan spell could be extended until the end of June, according to new reports.
Affectionately nicknamed the “Teeside Haaland”, he has five goals and one assist for the Gas this season. And at just 20 years old, he has an extremely promising future ahead of him - manager Joey Barton has even tipped the young star to play for England in the future.
A product of Sunderland and Middlesbrough’s youth academies, Coburn’s loan move to Bristol Rovers in the summer was his first real foray into senior football. He has played first-team football for Middlesbrough in the past, but has never been able to secure a regular place in their starting lineup. With the likes of Chuba Akpom and Rodrigo Muniz currently on Boro’s books, it would be difficult for him to carve out a regular place in the side.
With the Gas, however, he is currently a mainstay of the senior team - he has played the full 90 minutes of Rovers’ last six League One games. Middlesbrough could recall him if they so desired - but have said they will only do so if they are struck by an injury crisis.
Despite Boro boss Michael Carrick’s affinity for younger players, Middlesbrough appear keen to allow Coburn to stay at the Memorial Stadium until the end of the season. At a supporters’ forum meeting, Boro’s head of football, Kieran Scott, said: "The plan is not to bring Josh back. It doesn’t help the player to come back and not play, especially when he is playing now. He has to keep playing and doing well.
“There is still a lot of development needed, there is no point in bringing him back to sit on the bench then play for 10/15 minutes each week like he did last year. He needs to play 30/40 games [to] stay fit.”