The England U21 midfielder really put his name on the map of English football with his winner over Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday. Hackney, however, is far from an unknown commodity.
On the contrary, the 21-year-old already emerged as one of the Championship’s breakout players for Middlesbrough last season and was being courted by Arsenal and Liverpool in the summer. A defensive midfielder by trade, Hackney has stolen the show on more than one occasion under head coach Michael Carrick despite the usually inconspicuous nature of his position.
According to the Evening Standard, Man Utd and Tottenham are expected to join Liverpool in the race to sign the youngster. His performance against Chelsea will have only further convinced these sides that he is a player worth seriously pursuing.
‘Sensational offer’ required
Boro only sit 12th in the Championship table, so they know that they are in something of a precarious position with regard to Hackney’s future as the prospect of Premier League football will be alluring. However, Carrick’s side are only four points off Sunderland in the last playoff spot, meaning that there is still everything to play for this term.
Indeed, the Championship side are said to only be willing to consider “sensational offers” for the midfielder this month, though what exactly can be deemed sensational is not known. Hackney currently has an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €7.4 million, down from a peak of €10.6m in October 2023.
In the summer, the youngster could be much more attainable and Boro “accept the England Under-21s midfielder will eventually leave.” Ideally, the club from the North East want a bidding war to break out between the Premier League’s biggest hitters, who are keen on Hackney not just because of his talent but also with their homegrown quota in mind.