Middlesbrough are set to shock the Championship with one of the signings of the summer, as The Sun say that they are set to beat two Premier League sides to the signature of Nottingham Forest centre-forward Britt Assombalonga.
Two Premier League clubs, Burnley and Watford, were both in the running, with the striker having come through the youth system at the latter before he was sold to Peterborough for a new club record fee for the Posh. It’s thought that Middlesbrough’s offer of £14 million and a £60,000 per week contract was enough to convince the Congolese forward to remain in the second tier.
After such a substantial offer was made, Burnley were unable to match the finances on the table whilst Watford were put off by the fee involved, but is the 24-year-old worth it?
14 goals in 33 games may not suggest the record of a prolific goalscorer who can fire Gary Monk’s side back to the top flight at the first time of asking, but having missed almost all of the 2015/16 season with a serious knee injury, the effects were still there for all to see early on in 2016/17.
With just 20 starts last season, Assombalonga built his fitness as the season progressed and by the end of the campaign was fit enough to save his side from relegation, with four crucial goals in the last three games of the season enough to secure safety for the County Ground faithful.
Strong and quick, Assombalonga has all the attributes to be a huge success. Good in the air, too, the striker cannot be bullied and proves a tough physical opponent for opposition defences.
He is not, however, a mere target man. He boasts great movement which gives central defenders a headache trying to keep up with him, let alone then deal with the threat that he poses. Also a fine finisher, Assombalonga certainly knows where the net is and is well known for his powerful and well placed finishes.
It is clear that Assombalonga will soon become one of the most expensive footballers in the Championship, but given all that he has shown in recent years it is not a surprise and it seems only a matter of time before he is plying his trade in the top flight, whether that is with Middlesbrough or someone else.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Dan Westwell.