Middlesbrough boss gives Sam Greenwood verdict as he addresses Leeds United loanee transfer option

Sam Greenwood has spent the season on loan from Leeds United at Middlesbrough
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Michael Carrick has moved to reassure Sam Greenwood that he still has a key role to play at Middlesbrough this season. The Leeds United loanee has made 30 league appearances for Boro this season since joining the club in the summer transfer window, with five goals and three assists coming to underline the impact he has made.

However, the midfielder has fallen out of Carrick's first choice XI over the last month with his performances falling to warrant a starting place. As a result, the 22-year-old has been forced to make do with cameos off the bench of late in the Championship and such a decision has plunged a permanent summer move to the Riverside Stadium into doubt.

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Boro have the option to sign Greenwood for a fee reported to be in the region of £1.5m upon the completion of his season-long loan and it's a choice the club will be mulling over, no doubt. Carrick, though, is pleased with what he has seen from the Leeds man and he insists a permanent transfer won't be discussed until a later date.

"It's not the time now for me to be bothering Sam on that," he said on Greenwood's situation. "It's focusing on the games. As I said with Jonny [Howson] and there are one or two others, in time it will work itself out. Timing is important with these sorts of things, with contracts and transfers. When it's the right time things will get finalised."

He added: "Sam has been great. He trains unbelievably well, really enjoys it here. You can see that. Yeah, of course, he'd like to have played more over the last week or so but he's important for us, he's had a big impact and he's played a big part in what we've done, and he will continue to do that."

Greenwood will be keen to be involved this weekend, alongside his fellow Leeds loanee Luke Ayling, as Boro host Blackburn Rovers in the Championship. Carrick's side have been in midtable for much of the season, but after a run of three straight wins, they are now just five points off the play-off picture.