Championship

Opinion: Gestede return could be massive as Middlesbrough do battle with Leeds United at the top

Opinion: Gestede return could be massive as Middlesbrough do battle with Leeds United at the top

Middlesbrough have been handed a huge fitness boost in their battle at the top of the Championship table with Rudy Gestede close to returning to full fitness.

Gestede has been out of action since picking up an ankle injury in a pre-season friendly away at Accrington Stanley back in July, but the 29-year-old was recently able to complete just over an hour on the pitch in an U23 game, and manager Tony Pulis will now be relishing his return to the first team.

At Middlesbrough, Gestede has not been able to be as prolific as he was with Blackburn during the 2014 /15 Championship season, but he is still a player that can bring much to the team.

Extremely powerful in the air and able to hold up the ball effectively, £5.4m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Gestede is the ideal centre-forward for a Tony Pulis system.

Britt Assombalonga, undoubtedly, will continue to lead the line for Middlesbrough but, along with Jordan Hugill, Gestede can offer another alternative up front in a season where Pulis needs all the firepower he can get.

Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds look absolutely devastating in attack and are currently the Championship’s second highest goal scorers with 18 goals.

Furthermore, the return of Gestede can only be seen as a positive with Middlesbrough waiting in the wings for any potential Leeds slip up in the coming weeks.

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