Jonathan Woodgate wants key Northern Ireland international to stay at Boro

Jonathan Woodgate wants key Northern Ireland international to stay at Boro

Middlesbrough FC manager, Jonathan Woodgate, has stated he wants the versatile player to stay at Boro amid transfer speculation.

Celtic, Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers and Derby County have all expressed an interest in Paddy McNair during the summer transfer window, however the new Boro boss has stated that he wants to "try and keep all my players."

The Northern Ireland international was given an extended summer break following his appearances in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia, where he started both games and scored a fine individual effort.

Woodgate admitted that McNair wasn't utilised to his full capabilities last season, acting as a versatile utility man at times.

However, remaining determined to keep him at the club next season, Woodgate will be looking to use him as a midfielder.

"I see him as a midfielder, he is a midfielder," Woodgate told Teesside Live.

"Last year we had a few good midfielders: we had Mikel, Besic, Wing, Saville, McNair, Howson, Tavernier whose best position is that role as well, and others."

"Paddy has done really well when he’s played for Northern Ireland. OK, fair enough, he had moments where he didn’t play to his capability last season and not in his best position but this year he’ll get a chance."

"Paddy will get a chance. I’ve talked to him on the phone but like I say I’ll have more meetings when we get to Austria but it’s fresh, it’s a fresh canvas. They will get a chance."

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