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This stat proves that this Middlesbrough squad player is essential to promotion

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The attacking arsenal on offer at Middlesbrough this season is nothing short of remarkable, with no less than five quality strikers working under Garry Monk this season.

Britt Assombalonga, Martin Braithwaite, Ashley Fletcher, Patrick Bamford and Rudy Gestede are all fighting for minutes at the Riverside this season, in a battle that will rage on for the entirity of the campaign.

Assombalonga and Braithwaite are undisputed starters, with the latter able to play behind the main men or even out wide, so when two are deploted upfront, it is a straight shoot-out between the remaining trio.

Fletcher and Bamford are similar, in the sense that they are youngsters renowned for their ability in and around the box with their feet, but Gestede is an entirely different option altogether.

One stat that makes the Gabon striker stand out above the rest is his ability in the air, as proven by the rate of aerial duels he wins per game.

In five appearances – one of which was a substitute cameo – Gestede has won a remarkable average of 7.2 headers per game, which is scores ahead of his striking rivals.

Assombalonga, for example, has a record of 1.2

Braithwaite and Fletcher are at 1, and Bamford trails the bunch with a success rate of just 0.9 per game.

Gestede holds an astonishing lead, and it is this characteristic which makes him indispensible to Monk’s side.

Bids came in for the player in the summer, but Monk refused them all, saying that the former Blackburn and Aston Villa man was essential to his plans.

When Boro are trailing games, or chasing a win, the long ball will inevitably come into play.

As much as Monk prefers his teams to play the ball on the floor, needs must in the dying stages of play.

With Gestede in the box, either going for goal himself or knocking the ball into the mix, Boro are a dangerous force.

Teams panic when a big man renowned for his aerial ability is in the box, and naturally gravitate towards the player to alleviate the threat.

Cue space for the likes of Assombalonga, Bamford and Fletcher, who will grab goals just from Gestede’s presence.

This stat makes Gestede one of Boro’s most important men.

Boro fans, how important do you feel Gestede is to your squad? Have your say below…

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ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: This stat proves that this Middlesbrough squad player is essential to promotion

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