Monday, February 6, 2023

Huddersfield Town Joins Race For Nottingham Forest Forward: The Right Man For David Wagner?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Huddersfield Town are reportedly weighing up a bid for Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga as David Wagner looks at the Championship for the first time since promotion to beef up his squad. The 24-year-old has been impressive in the Championship over the past three seasons and it could be time for him to take the big step.

The Terriers are pretty wary of the cut-throat competition in top-tier English football, and the Congo international could be an interesting addition to keeping the pressure on their opponents. The manager wouldn’t want a slow start in the Premier League at any cost if he has learnt anything from the relegated sides the last term, and keeping a constant scoring rate is quintessential for that.

Although Huddersfield Town are expected to lose much of the quality in the transfer market owing to their late promotion and not so luring stature, they did get a whopping £100 million as a prize money for their promotion to the Premier League. And if not all, the club would want to spend that significantly on bringing reinforcements.

Despite having the likes of Elias Kachunga and Nahki Wells in the centre forward’s role, who have scored 22 goals combined and contributed to seven assists last season, Wagner knows well they have all the probabilities to fail in the Premier League. Kachunga’s compatriot, Assombalonga, has shown immense abilities to impress all and Huddersfield Town have to compete with recently-relegated side Middlesbrough for his signature.

With Garry Monk as their boss, Boro’s first challenge would be to retain their first team players ahead of the next season. Their star forward Alvaro Negredo returned to Valencia following a dismantling season at Riverside and Monk will have to get a potential replacement. Although competing with Huddersfield will be a difficult task, the Teesside did receive £45 million as a parachute amount to manage their losses and it could be helpful in their bidding war.

An academy product of Premier League side Watford, Assombalonga’s progress hugely relied on his loan stints with many lower league clubs like Braintree Town and Southend United before the Hornets decided to sell him to League One side Peterborough in 2013. Nottingham Forest bought him following his phenomenal display of 23 goals in 43 games for the side and three assists in just one season.

Assombalonga didn’t waste time impressing at Forest either, scoring 15 goals in the first season itself. It was soon followed by a knee operation that kept him out for more than a year when he missed a whopping 61 games. However, he returned last season scoring 14 goals, which shows his confidence, something Wagner will make the most out of. But is he the right man for his side?

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