Middlesbrough Opinion: Boro need to cut their losses on Rudy Gestede this summer
According to Teesside Live, Middlesbrough are looking to bring in a new striker this summer to bolster their ranks, with new manager Jonathan Woodgate keen to complete an overhaul of the club’s attacking options before the next seasons gets underway.
Woodgate, though, has vowed to extract the best out of the club’s existing attacking options, suggesting that the likes of Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher are likely to play a big role next season. (h/t Teesside Live)
However, the report claims that Boro will be open to offers for former Aston Villa man Rudy Gestede, while they will also be looking to offload Martin Braithwaite on a permanent basis. Braithwaite has spent the last couple of seasons on loan but it is understood that Boro want to move him on this summer in order o raise some valuable funds.
Middlesbrough finished 7th in the Championship this past season and narrowly missed out on securing a playoff spot, with lack of goals being one of the major talking points from their unsuccessful campaign under Tony Pulis.
Boro shared the joint best defensive record with Sheffield United in the division but their goalscoring record was less than impressive, having scored only 49 goals in 46 games.
Boro’s promotion-chasing rivals outscored them with ease last season and it is a no-brainer that new boss Woodgate needs to focus on the recruitment of a new striker prior to the start of the upcoming season.
Assombalonga’s tally of 14 goals in the Championship last term was certainly impressive but that wasn’t enough to propel the club to the playoffs, meaning that Boro need more men up front to contribute with goals and assists.
While bringing in fresh faces continues to be high on the manager’s wishlist, Middlesbrough need to get some lacklustre attackers off their books. Assombalonga and Fletcher are expected to be a part of Woodgate’s plans moving forward but the same cannot be said of Rudy Gestede, whilst Boro also need to find a permanent solution to the Braithwaite problem.
Gestede, who joined Middlesbrough from Aston Villa back in January 2017 for a fee of £6 million, has proven himself to an absolute disaster for the Teessiders. The 30-year-old Beninese international has just managed a paltry 49 appearances in all competitions for Boro over the course of two-and-a-half seasons, finding the net on only 6 occasions in the process.
As a matter of fact, Middlesbrough should never have spent that sort of money on an erratic and impetuous striker with such a poor injury record. Gestede’s strike rate of 10 goals in 55 appearances at Villa Park was equally unimpressive and it was always going to be a huge gamble for Boro to bring him in at that point of time.
Gestede’s most prolific spell in English football came at Blackburn Rovers, where the striker netted 35 goals in 72 appearances. However, he hasn’t been able to get anywhere near those figures at Teesside and it is a no-brainer that Middlesbrough haven’t got much out of the £6 million that they spent on him.
The towering 6ft. 4-inch hitman, now 30, has only 12 months remaining on his current contract at Middlesbrough, meaning that this summer would be the last realistic chance for the club to sell him and recoup a fraction of the money that they had spent to bring him to the club.
Realistically speaking, Gestede might be a tall and strong target man inside the box but he lacks the general finesse and skills of a striker and Middlesbrough certainly need better players up front to challenge for promotion. The 30-year-old started only once in the Championship the last term and it is pretty clear that injuries have pushed him down the pecking order at the club.
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Keeping that in mind, Boro should not hesitate to cut their losses on him this summer itself, as waiting till January would make little sense.