Huddersfield Town old boy Jordan Rhodes could be handed the chance to stake his claim for a regular place in Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka’s starting side in Wednesday’s League Cup second-round tie at Fulham.
The £9m January signing from Blackburn Rovers has been left kicking his heels as newly-promoted Boro have made an unbeaten start in the Premier League and reports emerged that he could be on his way out of the club.
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He was an unused substitute in the opening-day draw against Stoke City and left out of the squad altogether in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Sunderland, but Karanka insists the 26-year-old Scotland international remains part of his plans.
“Everybody who is in the squad will have his chance,” said Karanka.
“I’m going to make changes because I have a lot of good players and for sure Jordan is one of them and he will have his chance.
“I’ve spoken to him, I speak with all the players and I said after Sunday’s game that Jordan is a really good kid and I told him I trust him 100 per cent, the same way I trusted him when he came here.
“But now he understands that with Alvaro Negredo, with (David) Nugent, with him and with (Cristhian) Stuani, who can all play in that position, there is more competition but it’s good for everybody, for the team.
“It’s difficult to be the best one because all of them are really good and it’s important for him to train in the way that he has been doing because one day he will have his chance.
“He’s fighting, since we started pre-season and since Negredo arrived, and I feel he’s ready and one day his chance will appear.”