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…
Neil Warnock has confirmed that both Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher will be leaving Middlesbrough.
The pairs’ contracts were expiring this summer and Boro boss Neil Warnock has made the decision to offload the pair, with them now not even training with the Middlesbrough first-team at the moment.
Both players cost the club a combined fee of £22m but their fortunes have been mixed at the Riverside since arriving, with it now emerging that both will be departing.
So, what do you make of this call? The right decision?
Some of the team here at FLW offer their thoughts…
It’s certainly a bold move from Neil Warnock.
I wouldn’t say I’m massively surprised as I think for a while this has been on the cards and it is clear that Warnock wants to shake up his attacking options.
What I would say, though, is that from a business and financial point of view it’s a bit of a strange move.
Both are leaving for nothing when perhaps Boro could have sold up earlier and got a fee for them – it’s certainly a shame to see them leave the club and not get anything in return for them.
That’s hindsight speaking really, though, and now we’ll just have to see who Warnock goes for in the summer – it’s certainly teed up nicely for a busy market on Teesside now.
It isn’t really a surprise, not now Boro’s push for the play-offs is over.
Neil Warnock can be quite bullish and we’ve seen him making these types of calls in the past.
If Boro were still in the play-off mix, I don’t think he’d be closing the door just yet, but given all his games are dead rubbers now, he probably wants to have a closer look at those he’s carrying into next season.
Ultimately, neither Fletcher or Assombalonga can argue that they aren’t going to be part of the future at the Riverside Stadium.
Signed for north of £20m, they have flopped and haven’t delivered the promotion they were brought in to win.
Expensive errors from the recruitment team at the Riverside Stadium, and Warnock is underlining them.
It’s a big call given how much money the club spent on them in the past, but you can’t really argue with Warnock’s decision here.
Now they have nothing to play for, it is all about building momentum and taking that into next season as they look to go one further and finish in the play-offs.
Boro have struggled for goals on a regular basis this season, especially from Fletcher who has two to his name, and for me, he has never been anywhere near prolific enough in his career.
Assombalonga, meanwhile, has looked a shadow of the player he was at Forest since moving to the Riverside. Injuries haven’t been kind to him, but you never know what you are going to get from him which is a worry for a manager.
They are likely to be two fairly big earners as well, so getting them out of the door in a bid to freshen up the attacking options is a big call and an exciting one for Boro to look at over the course of this summer.