Middlesbrough striker Britt Assomablonga has emerged as a summer transfer window target for Scottish champions Celtic, Football Insider have reported.
The prospect of a move to Celtic for Assombalonga is certainly an interesting one, and we’ve taken a more in-depth look at it here, in our latest six point opinion piece.
Firstly, what’s Assombalonga’s situation at Middlesbrough?
“Assombalonga first joined ‘Boro from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2017, for a fee reported to be in the region of £15million.
“Since then the DR Congo international has gone onto make 93 appearances and score 31 goals in all competitions for the North East club, finishing as top scorer both season he has been at the Riverside Stadium.
“There are two years remaining on his current contract with Middlesbrough, so the club are not currently under any huge pressure to sell the striker.”
So would he be a good signing for Celtic?
“This would be a good signing for the Scottish champions.
“Assomabalonga’s goalscoring record during his time in the Championship shows that he is more than capable of finding the net at a high level, and that should make him a reliable asset to call upon should he make the move to Glasgow.
“You also feel that the striker’s physicality means that he is a player who could cause problems for Scottish defences in a number of ways, be it as a lone target man or as a hold-up man for someone else to play off.”
Would he get in Celtic’s starting XI?
“You would think so.
“According to reports, Celtic are keen to add some fresh striking options to take some of the pressure off last season’s leading scorer Odsonne Edouard, so you imagine Assomablonga could be called on regularly at Celtic Park.
“With the club again looking to compete on a number of fronts next season – both domestically and in Europe – there should be ample opportunity for Assombalonga to stake his claim for a regular place on the Celtic team sheet.”
How much would he cost?
“He won’t be cheap.
“Having reportedly paid £15million for Assombalonga, you imagine ‘Boro will want their money back at the very least, and probably something on top of that.
“With two years remaining on his contract at the Riverside, ‘Boro are in a strong position to negotiate any fee for the striker, so you imagine Celtic could be looking at a bill worth upwards of £20millions.”
Would he want to go?
“It’s hard to know.
“On the one hand, Assombalonga may well be enjoying life as a key man at the Riverside Stadium, particularly with the club looking to push towards the Premier League next season, an opportunity that will be appealing to him as much as any other Championship player.
“However, a move to Celtic would see him instantly competing for silverware, and given the chance to play in the Champions League with the Glasgow club, so that too could prove tempting for Assombalonga.”
Finally, what impact could his departure have on ‘Boro?
“This would be a big loss for the Championship side.
“Despite their seventh-place finish last season, only three teams in the entire division scored fewer league goals than they did last season.
“Losing Assombalonga, who has hit double figures in both his campaigns with the club would only enhance that problem further, and failure to replace him with another proven goalscorer could all but end their hopes of a top-six place before the season has even begun.”