Middlesbrough have already been busy this summer but are still chasing one of their primary transfer targets in the form of Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga. Boro are short of options in the final third and need a new lethal striker for next season. We take a detailed look at what Forest’s 24-year-old striker Assombalonga would bring to the Riverside.
Boro evidently needs attacking reinforcements, and therefore the link with Forest’s goal machine makes sense. New manager Garry Monk has the likes of Cristhian Stuani, Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede and Adama Traoré currently at his disposal. However, Traoré is likely to leave the Riverside this summer with a host of Premier League teams interested in securing his services after he impressed in the top flight last season.
All of these attacking options lack the goal scoring instinct that Assombalonga possesses at this level. Both Bamford and Gestede have proved that they can find the back of the net in The Championship in the past, but may be low on confidence after struggling in Boro’s torrid campaign last time out. In comparison, Assombalonga looks to be back to his best after recovering from a career threatening injury.
The 24-year-old joined Forest from Peterborough United in 2014 for a fee of around £5.5 million, potentially rising to £8 million based on various clauses. He scored 15 goals in his first 29 games for the club before suffering a severe knee injury against Wigan Athletic in February 2015.
It was not until the end of the 2015/16 season that the DR Congo striker began to make a return to first team action. He scored his first senior goal since returning from injury in a 2-1 win away at MK Dons on the final day of the season. However, it was evident to see that the striker still had a long way to go before being fully fit and many feared he would never be the player he once was.
Despite still struggling with a couple of niggling injuries throughout, Assombalonga did show signs of being back to his best last season. Despite only making 20 starts and 12 substitute appearances for the Reds, he still managed to find the back of the net 14 times as he ended the season the club’s top scorer once again. He scored two goals in the vital victory over Ipswich Town on the final day of the season to make sure the club avoided the drop into League One.
If Boro can secure the services of Assombalonga, the one thing that is guaranteed is that he will score goals. Boro have reportedly offered a fee of around £14 million to Forest to secure the services of the striker which may be seen as a huge gamble by many. However, Boro have the boost of parachute payments following their relegation, and if Assombalonga scores the goals to secure an immediate return to the top flight, then it will look like money well spent.