Opinion: Why Middlesbrough is the perfect loan destination for Aston Villa striker

One man who is likely to have no shortage of suitors in the January transfer window is Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer.

The 21-year-old had a productive loan spell at Preston North End in the Championship last season, scoring 7 goals in 20 appearances for Ryan Lowe’s side following his January switch.

Such was the potential he showed at Deepdale, Villa tied him down to a new five-year contract in August, but his minutes have been limited in the Premier League so far this campaign.

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He has made just six substitute appearances in the top flight and with Unai Emery’s ambitious appointment at Villa Park, the club’s wealthy owners can splash out on a new striker in January, opening the door to an exit from the Archer.

According to teamTALK, Middlesbrough are one of several Championship sides monitoring Archer’s situation and have made inquiries about his availability, with head coach Michael Carrick making him number one on his striker priority list .

There is no better place for the striker to go in January than the Riverside Stadium.

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Boro’s need to sign a striker is clear. Chuba Akpom has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence from underdogs to Chris Wilder at the start of the season to become the club’s top scorer with nine goals.

Akpom has been deployed in a number 10 role by Carrick and has thrived in his new position, but finding the right partner has been more problematic.

Much was expected of Rodrigo Muniz following his summer arrival from Fulham. The Brazilian scored five goals for the Cottagers en route to promotion and, despite being largely a relief due to the excellent form of Aleksandar Mitrovic, impressed whenever given the opportunity

But it has been a nightmare for Muniz on Teesside, with just two goals to his name so far and none since September. He has also lost his place in the team under Carrick and even his substitute appearances are becoming more and more limited.

Marcus Forss has been first choice in Akpom’s side and has put in some industrious and committed performances, but the former Brentford man is not prolific and you think an upgrade is needed.

Duncan Watmore has four for the season but is not a full forward, while Matthew Hoppe has yet to get off the mark since his arrival from Mallorca and has often found himself out of the squad altogether.

With that in mind, it means Carrick will be looking to the market for reinforcements. Given the struggles of the club’s leaders, Archer is likely to walk straight into the starting line-up, guaranteeing him game time that other clubs may not be able to do.

But there are also few clubs with as much of a feel-good factor as Middlesbrough right now. Boro have won four of their last five games since Carrick’s appointment and are now just four points off the play-offs. In such a tight division, if they can maintain that kind of consistency, there’s no reason why they can’t break into the top six.

It could also be a very profitable spell for Archer, with wide players like Isaiah Jones and Ryan Giles providing the service, he will get plenty of opportunities.

Working with a manager like Carrick who played at the highest level for many years could only be beneficial and the 41-year-old is more than capable of improving young players, as evidenced by the development of Hayden Hackney.

Villa will have plenty of potential destinations to weigh up in January, but Boro would be the right fit.

Source: Opinion: Why Middlesbrough is the perfect loan destination for Aston Villa striker

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