According to a recent report from The Northern Echo, Britt Assombalonga could be let go by Middlesbrough this month. The striker made the move to the Riverside Stadium back in 2017 after three years at fellow Championship side Nottingham Forest, but with money seemingly something of a problem for the Teessiders this month, the club may seek to cash in on some stars in the January window.
And reports suggest that 26-year-old Assombalonga is one man who could be let go by manager Tony Pulis, which should be of keen interest to Stoke City manager Nathan Jones, as raiding Boro for the linked-away ace would seriously strengthen his goal-shy side.
Ultimately, Welshman Jones left Luton Town to take over at the bet365 Stadium earlier this month following the departure of Gary Rowett, what with the Potters well off the promotion pace in the Championship, and thus facing the prospect of failing to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.
And part of the problem under the stewardship of Rowett was the lack of goals his team scored, with his Potters side netting only 30 times in their opening 26 league matches, after which the Englishman was relieved of his duties.
And with no players having yet to reach double figures in all competitions for Stoke this term, with Benik Afobe the closest with eight (which itself is remarkable given he embarked on a 12-match goalless run between September and November), it’s pretty evident that greater potency is needed in the final third of the pitch – Assombalonga has that in abundance.
The 26-year-old made the move to Boro as a result of impressing greatly during his time at Nottingham Forest, what with the striker netting 30 goals in just 69 appearances for the East Midlands giants, all of which coming in the second tier.
Yes, injuries certainly held him back during his stint at the City Ground, but his tally of 15 goals in his first season and 14 in his last underlined just how prolific he could be when fit, and he has taken that into his Middlesbrough career as well with 15 goals for the club last term as they finished inside the top six.
And with seven goals this time round, which isn’t a bad return given he has only started on 15 occasions under Pulis, Assombalonga continues to emphasise just why Boro spent big money on him back in 2017 – there are few better and more prolific strikers than the DR Congo international at second tier level.
And with Stoke seemingly crying out for further reinforcements in that area of the pitch, having failed to score more than two goals in any Championship match so far this season, they should be keenly keeping tabs on Assombalonga’s ongoing situation at Boro.
In fact, moving for the linked-away ace would go some way to seriously strengthening Jones’ goal-shy side as they seek to mount a promotion charge in 2019.
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