According to The Evening Standard, Middlesbrough failed in an attempt to sign Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke on loan over the summer.
Although this may appear at first as a bad thing, The Boro may have dodged a bullet here, in their quest for promotion.
Although it would always appear that having a 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup winner in your squad is a good thing, there is one thing that distinguishes Solanke from current Boro favourites up front Britt Assombalonga and Martin Braithwaite.
That distinction is the fact that both of Tony Pulis’ favourites this season have played Championship football before. In a team that are chasing promotion, sitting in second at the moment, the club cannot afford to have a player that will need time to adjust to the league. They need players that can hit the ground running, and the experience in the division of Braithwaite and Assombalonga provides that.
Another point is that a wealth of player can sometimes cause more problems than solutions to a manager. Assombalonga is Pulis’ first choice striker this season; Braithwaite may partner him or play on the wing, but the Congo international will always start. Suddenly throw another high-quality player into the mix and there is a problem with regards to balancing the squad.
The Boro signed Jordan Hugill from West Ham, but this looks to be a back-up signing for the other two strikers. If Solanke signed, there would be the expectation that he would start, and that could cause problems.
Middlesbrough do not currently look like they are missing the services of Solanke, and losing out on him may have been a blessing in disguise.