Middlesbrough made a lot of changes to their squad last summer. They spent around £50 million, they made a record signing and they brought in 10 new players to the first team.
However, not all of these players have shone at Boro. Also, given that there was managerial change over Christmas with Tony Pulis replacing Garry Monk, a lot of players who Monk signed will not fit how Pulis wants’ to play. Therefore, given Pulis will want to put his own stamp on this Boro side over the summer, it is likely Middlesbrough will be in for another summer of selling and buying a fair few players.
Here are three of those players likely to leave Teesside in the next transfer window.
When Britt Assombalonga became Middlesbrough’s record signing over the summer, most Middlesbrough fans were over the moon. He was a well know Championship goal scorer who scored 14 goals in 20 starts last season for a poor Nottingham Forest side.
So, when Boro paid £15 million for him, many people were expecting him to fire Boro straight back up to the Premier League. And to some extent, he did do well in terms of goals scored. In the first half of the season, Britt scored an impressive 12 goals. But in reality, the majority of his goals were coming against poor bottom half sides. In fact, the only side Assombalonga scored against in the top half of the table was Leeds. And even they have now slipped out of the top 12.
Middlesbrough’s overall performances could be to blame for this. Because they were very poor under Monk and did struggle to beat top half teams. However, since Tony Pulis had taken over at Boro, Assombalonga has yet to score. He has fallen out of favour with Pulis who began to start Gestede over him before his injury. And Pulis is now even opting to start Bamford up front over Assombalonga. Which shows just how poor his form has been.
So, given Assombalonga is not featuring Pulis’s plans regularly and Boro paid a fair bit for him, they are very likely going to sell him in the summer to try and recoup some of their loses.
Martin Braithwaite is a very similar case to Britt Assombalonga. He was a Garry Monk signing who came in with big things expected of him due to his Ligue 1 experience.
Braithwaite suffered an injury early in the season. But when he came back he scored three in five which suggested he could be a top player for Boro. However, his form also dipped off and much like with Assombalonga, Pulis clearly didn’t rate him as he allowed him to leave on loan in January for a return to Ligue 1. Even if Pulis wasn’t best pleased about players wanting to leave just six months after signing.
Furthermore, Braithwaite has come out himself and said that he would like to make his loan move a permanent one in the summer. So, despite him showing some promise at Boro. And even with the possibility of Middlesbrough winning promotion this season, it is very unlikely Braithwaite will be seen in a red shirt again.
Unlike Assombalonga and Braithwaite Fabio was not a Monk signing. He was signed by Aitor Karanka and has been a solid member of the squad for some years. In fact, he was one of Boro’s bets performers’ under Garry Monk earlier this season. Although the bar wasn’t exactly high.
However, Fabio told Boro that he wished to return to his home nation of Brazil in January. While Pulis did say that this was something the club had discussed with Fabio before his arrival, it is unlikely Fabio will stay over the summer.
This is largely because they are now nearing the end of March and while Fabio did not move in January, he has also not made his way into Pulis’s plans. As he has yet to play a single minute for him. Despite him probably being better than George Friend. Therefore, while Fabio will not be sold due to his performances, Pulis clearly doesn’t have plans for him. Meaning the Brazilian will likely get his move home this summer with many a Boro fan sad to see him leave.
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