Middlesbrough were quite occupied during the January transfer window as Tony Pulis seemed desirous to reshape the armoury that he inherited. The Smoggies allowed as many as four first-team players to leave the Riverside Stadium on the deadline day and one of the players was Martin Braithwaite, who sealed a loan move to Ligue 1 outfit, Bordeaux.
Pulis made it very clear that he wanted players with the required willingness, zeal and drive to make their presence felt at the club and it goes without saying that he didn’t feel that Braithwaite fulfilled the criteria stated above. Intriguingly, the former West Bromwich Albion sanctioned the Danish international’s move to Bordeaux without even signing a replacement.
Braithwaite started his professional football career with Esbjerg fB back in 2009 and was then signed by Toulouse in the summer of 2013. After carving a name for himself therein, Middlesbrough pounced upon him in the summer transfer window of 2017 and made him sign on the dotted line for a fee which is believed to be around £9million. However, he flattered to deceive and failed to impress Pulis.
For Middlesbrough, he featured 19 times in the Championship campaign this season prior to making his switch to the ranks of Les Girondins, during which he scored 5 goals and notched up 2 assists. Reportedly, Braithwaite seems to be in favour of making a permanent move to Bordeaux in the summer. It really comes as a surprise, considering that he is yet to nail down his place in their starting line-up.
The 26-year-old has played 6 times in the French top flight after his move, out of which only 3 have been as starts, and he is yet to score a goal for his current club. In one of the recent interviews, he has talked highly of Bordeaux and has laid emphasis on the need of plying his trade regularly in the second half of the season to make a strong case for himself ahead of the World Cup to be held in Russia later this year.
Pulis’ side are very much in contention for promotion to the Premier League and are currently placed at the 6th spot in the league table with 61 points to their name after 31 outings. The 60-year-old manager wants men who have the desire to play for Middlesbrough. Thus, he is unlikely to stand between Braithwaite and his permanent move to Bordeaux, but it would be interesting to see how much Middlesbrough can recoup of the £9million transfer fee that they paid for the forward.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored