Karl Robinson has confirmed that Oxford United will step up for Marcus Browne if the Middlesbrough striker becomes available for loan.
The U boss said Oxford will ‘beat the drums as hard as anyone’ to see a return to Kassam Stadium for the 22-year-old who has had two loan spells there in the past two seasons.
The striker impressed in the preseason and scored his first goal for Boro after coming off the bench against Bournemouth last month. But that 21-minute cameo was his only league appearance so far, with the arrival of Patrick Roberts expected to push him further down the pecking order.
Boro doesn’t play with wingers, but Browne’s versatility means he could play the role of number ten or as a second striker, but Warnock is left with the dilemma of whether it would be better to let him play and grow, plus providing cover for its own ultra-fine team.
When asked if he would bring him back to Oxford if he became available, Robinson said Oxford mail: “We’ll hit the drum as hard as anyone if it’s available.
“If he’s wanted by Neil and Middlesbrough, Marcus is a wonderful player and I would never stop him from developing to the next level.
“But if he becomes available, I would like to think we would be a very good fit for him.
“I think he could be one of the last pieces of this puzzle going forward.”
It’s a busy time on and off the pitch.
The Championship campaign is underway, while off the pitch Boro continues to work tirelessly to complete his squad.
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Boro and Warnock have until October 16 to decide what to do with Browne in the short term – Warnock insisting that a temporary exit would not change his long-term future at Riverside.
If they allow him on loan, Oxford will likely be one of the many League One clubs interested in his services. The choice for Boro will be to send him to Oxford where he is comfortable and will be well looked after, or to send him elsewhere for a change of scenery and a new challenge.