Middlesbrough’s re-entry into the top tier of English football hasn’t been followed up with consistent and commendable performances. The Smoggies find themselves in the wrong end of the league table and they have been criticised left, right and centre for their substandard outings. Under the tutelage of Aitor Karanka, it was presumed that Middlesbrough would revolve somewhere around the tenth spot but with 19 points from 20 league games, that hasn’t been the case so far.
One aspect of their game that had been particularly letting them down is the failure of their attacking arsenal to get the job done. The Premier League newcomers have bagged just 17 goals so far and some substantial addition to their firepower holds paramount importance. Alvaro Negredo had been their main men up front, but the Spaniard has had very little support from the two other strikers in the shape of David Nugent and Jordan Rhodes.
Considering the gravity of the situation, Karanka was very quick to react in the January transfer window and has brought a decent asset to meet his side’s striking woes. Rudy Gestede has been acquired by Middlesbrough as they pressed in the market for a player who had Premier League experience and had a decent recognition. The contract shall bind the Benin international to the Riverside Stadium until 2020 and unarguably, Boro needed this incoming.
Gestede had seen opportunities pretty hard to come by at Aston Villa ever since Steve Bruce took over the Championship club, considering the plethora of strikers at Villa Park. Karanka saw this as an opportunity and took reactive measures to ensure that the 28-year-old made a re-entry to the Premier League.
Quality wise, there are a plenty of attributes which Gestede can offer. He excels with his aerial abilities, is a venomous weapon off the bench, has commendable physical strength and is very much able when it comes to scoring from set-pieces as well as defending the corners. His incoming does dent the prospects of Jordan Rhodes, but Gestede is very much unlike Negredo and is unarguably a better version of Rhodes and that’s why the deal thoroughly makes sense.
He was a player within Middlesbrough’s budget and now that he is at the club, six or seven goals from here on until the end of the season can very much imply that the money was very wisely spent by Karanka and help them in the quest of finding themselves in the Premier League again next season.