When Jordan Hugill arrived at the Riverside Stadium last summer, Middlesbrough fans had every right to be excited given his previous goal-scoring escapades with Preston North End.
Having reached double figures for the Lilywhites in two consecutive seasons in the Championship before moving to West Ham United in 2018, the forward clearly had the pedigree needed to succeed for the Smoggies during his season-long loan deal from the Hammers.
However, after suffering a dismal start to life in North Yorkshire in which he failed to score in his first 10 league appearances, Hugill desperately needed to produce something of note to illustrate just why Tony Pulis decided to sign him.
Although he eventually opened his account by scoring in back-to-back games against Wigan Athletic and Brentford, the 26-year-old’s lack of consistency saw him fail to establish himself as a regular starter for the Smoggies as he was continuously rotated with Ashley Fletcher by his manager.
Despite producing encouraging performances against play-off contenders Derby County and West Bromwich Albion, Hugill’s awful run of 14 games without a goal or an assist in the Championship left Boro is desperate trouble as their over-reliance on Britt Assombalonga to deliver the goods eventually culminated in a failure to secure a top-six finish.
With the Smoggies facing a third consecutive season in the second tier, it is clear that in order to be successful next year, they cannot afford to make any mistakes during the upcoming transfer window.
Therefore, when you consider the fact that Hugill only managed a measly total of six goals in the 2018/19 campaign, Boro should steer well clear of signing the £7.2m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) in the summer on a permanent deal.
If they do decide to bring him despite his failures, it would not be at all surprising if the club end up struggling over the coming years.
What do you think Smoggies fans? Would you welcome a permanent move for Hugill in the summer? Or does he not deserve another chance to impress at the Riverside following his underwhelming loan spell? Let us know below.
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