Forget Assombalonga: Birmingham must avoid pipe dream and target £5.4m-rated Welshman

According to the Hartlepool Mail, via the Northern Echo, Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga could leave the club this summer, with Birmingham City a potential destination.

Assombalonga only arrived at the Riverside Stadium last summer, in a club-record £15 million deal, but is now looking set for an early exit from the Boro despite a respectable 15 goal haul in his debut season for the club.

This news comes amidst rumours of the 25-year-old having fallen out with the Middlesbrough manager, Tony Pulis. 

Even if Assombalonga were to be available this summer, Boro would almost certainly want to recoup their own heavy investment in the striker. Meaning that, despite Transfermarkt’s valuation of £10.8 million, it’s unlikely that anything less than £15 million would be enough to secure the DR Congo international’s services.

This is an asking price beyond Birmingham City’s means, who would be better off looking elsewhere for a more affordable, but still prolific, striker.

Sam Vokes

The Wales international striker is heading into the final year of his current contract with Burnley and at 28-years-old may feel the time is right to call an end to his time with the Clarets in order to seek more first team football elsewhere. 

With only a year left on his deal, Vokes may be available for even less than the £5.4 million he is valued at by Transfermarkt, making him a significantly cheaper option than Assombalonga.

Vokes has already proved his worth at Championship level earlier in his career, and a return to the second tier, where he’ll expect to be more prolific than he is in the Premier League, can only do good things for his international prospects. Aiming to impress new Wales boss, Ryan Giggs, will surely be on the striker’s mind. 

Vokes may lack the electrifying pace and energy that epitomises Assombalonga’s game, but Garry Monk will surely settle for a more functional but equally reliable goalscorer with top flight pedigree. 

Especially if such an acquisition doesn’t mean leaving his transfer budget in tatters. 

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