Southampton recall Jack Stephens from Middlesbrough loan
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 04/01/16 12:35pm
Southampton have recalled defender Jack Stephens from his loan spell at Middlesbrough.
Stephens, 21, had been due to stay at the Riverside for the whole season, but made just five appearances under Aitor Karanka, four of those in the Capital One Cup.
Saints boss Ronald Koeman says Stephens will go straight back into his squad.
Koeman told the club's website: "Jack is back from Middlesbrough. He wasn't playing there and then why is he on loan if he doesn't play? It's better for him to come back."
Shortly before joining Middlesbrough, Stephens was given a two-year contract extension to keep him at St Mary's until 2019.
His return comes amid reports Koeman could cut short defender Steven Caulker's season-long loan deal from Championship club QPR.