This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is looking to add some fire-power as he looks to get his automatic promotion challenge in the Championship back on track, with the Whites eyeing a January move for Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga, according to the Mirror.
Bielsa wants the DR Congo international to replace Eddie Nketiah, who was recalled by Arsenal at the beginning of the month despite Assombalonga having not featured for Boro since early December, however he is thought to be nearing a return.
So would the 27-year-old be a good addition at Elland Road, is he needed and would he make the starting XI?
“I’m not convinced that Assombalonga is the signing that Leeds need right now, given his poor form this season and just the style of player he is at Middlesbrough.
“It’s not a secret that the Whites are in a desperate hunt for a striker that can both score more goals than Patrick Bamford, but also provide a similar output on and off the ball as him under Marcelo Bielsa.
“Assombalonga has proven in his career that he has the finishing ability that Leeds need this season, but I don’t believe he has the fitness and tenacity to suit how intense Bielsa looks to set his side up.
“Middlesbrough would only be keen on a permanent sale this month and Leeds are looking for the opposite at the moment because of the finances involved, so this move doesn’t make much sense to me for all parties.
“He would certainly get in Leeds’ side with Bamford misfiring but I think they could do better than a player who has toiled for most of the season and scored just six league goals.”
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“Britt Assombalonga is as proven a Championship striker as you’re likely to find, but I’m not entirely sure that he’d be the right fit for Leeds United.
“The strikers is a decent enough poacher but in terms of his all-round game there’s plenty who suggest that he doesn’t quite do enough.
“That won’t go down well under Marcelo Bielsa.
“The Leeds boss is renowned for working his players hard and ensuring that everyone works tirelessly off the ball – something which isn’t exactly one of Britt Assombalonga’s strengths.
“I’m sure he could fill a hole for the Whites, but whether he’ll be the man to propel them into the Premier League and beyond, I’m doubtful.”
“I’m a little bit undecided on this as Assombalonga has scored goals pretty consistently in the Championship, but does he give Bamford the kick up the backside he really needs?
“Assombalonga might’ve been a good signing for Leeds 18 months ago, but now I don’t see him as much of an improvement on Bamford, particularly when you compare the two’s work off the ball.
“That’s not to say that Leeds’ incoming striker has to displace Bamford, but he has to push him and give him something to think about.
“In all honesty, I don’t see Assombalonga really doing that enough. Particularly compared to a Che Adams or Andre Gray, who have gone big in the Championship before.”