Middlesbrough are facing a number of big decisions as the season moves towards its climax.
With several players out of contract it seems that Neil Warnock and the club’s hierarchy will be spending plenty of time around the negotiating table as they look to decide which of their squad members they’d like to keep next term.
While there’s a handful of players who face uncertain futures there’s one who is arguably the most high profile of them all.
Of course we’re talking about Britt Assombalonga.
The striker moved to Teesside for a reported club-record fee of £15million in the summer of 2017 with the remit of firing the club back to the Premier League.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen.
It would be unfair to point the blame solely at Assombalonga as frankly the team simply weren’t good enough to go up in any of the campaigns that followed, but as the club’s marquee signing, the number nine attracted much of the criticism.
Assombalonga has scored 47 goals in 158 appearances which equals just less than one goal every three games – a tally that perhaps doesn’t give fans the feeling of real value for money given the transfer fee paid and the substantial wages which make him the highest-earner at the club.
Middlesbrough are looking to cut their cloth accordingly and as a result they’re looking to trim his wages off the bill going into next season.
But while the decision that they have the make will be largely dictated by finances, it’s also his performances on the pitch which could see him move on this summer.
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So far this term Assombalonga has scored just five goals in 29 appearances in a pretty underwhelming season so far.
With just a few months left on his deal it seems likely that the forward could be moving on.
it’s starting to look like the writing is on the wall for Assombalonga who looks increasingly destined to leave Middlesbrough with his tail between his legs.
If that’s the case it will be a real shame as the 28-year-old had all of the potential to become a goalscoring hero at the Riverside Stadium, but unfortunately, it now seems very unlikely that this will be how he’s remembered.