Middlesbrough’s pending decision to part company with Britt Assombalonga has been given the seal of approval by former striker, Brian Deane.
Neil Warnock has confirmed that Assombalonga’s time as a Boro player is about to come to an end, with it unlikely that the striker will play for the Teessiders again.
Assombalonga was a £15m signing in summer of 2017, but his output in terms of goals in the Championship has declined since he struck 15 times in 2017/18.
14 goals was respectable enough the following campaign, whilst 11 was a decent return in a tough 2019/20 for the club.
However, the 28-year-old has been underwhelming this season in the Championship, scoring just five goals.
Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Deane weighed in on the topic of Assombalonga’s future, indicating it was the right time to move him on given his cost and output in terms of goals.
“Probably, yeah,” Deane responded when quizzed on whether it was the right time for Assombalonga to leave.
“It’s not like I’ve been hearing about certain people tearing it up.
“When Neil Warnock first went there, he was on fire, but I’ve not heard his name talked about.
“It makes sense that a club that’s in the Championship, when he’s wanting a certain wage, are saying: ‘as you are getting older, we can get better and younger’.
“It makes total sense for him to move on and it makes total sense for the club to move him on.
“With no fans in the stadium at the moment, to negotiate a contract with somebody like him is going to be difficult.
“That’s where a lot of clubs are going to start feeling it now. The finances aren’t going to be there.
“If you’re going to give someone like that a new contract, you’ve got to earn that new contract. If he’d scored 15-20 goals, the first thing they would have done is sign him up.
“They can probably look at him and think that this isn’t the direction they want to go moving forwards.”
Football League World understand that Bristol City are one club that’s desperate to sign Assombalonga for the upcoming campaign, as they potentially plan for life without Famara Diedhiou.
However, despite that interest, there’s going to be rival Championship clubs in the mix to tie up a deal for DR Congo international on a free transfer.