Why Sheffield United should take a punt on Britt Assombalonga
Back in June 2019, a report from the Sheffield Star (h/t Nottinghamshire Live) had mentioned Britt Assombalonga among the potential targets for Sheffield United. However, the Blades were unwilling to match Middlesbrough’s £15million valuation of the Congolese striker and ended up signing the likes of Oliver McBurnie and Lys Mousset to bolster their attack.
Born in DR Congo, Britt Assombalonga migrated to England with his family at a very young age and started his footballing education at Watford. However, he only made 4 first-team appearances for the Hornets, spending time on loan at Wealdstone, Braintree Town and Southend United.
The striker eventually settled down at Peterborough United in League One before a 33-goal haul during the 2013-14 season paved the way for a move to the Championship with Nottingham Forest. Assombalonga went on to enjoy a productive stint at the City Ground, scoring 30 goals in 69 appearances for the Reds in all competitions.
The 27-year-old switched boats to join fellow second-tier rivals Middlesbrough in 2017 and has since scored 43 times in 140 appearances for the Teessiders. Assombalonga made his international debut for DR Congo in 2018 and represented his nation at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Assombalonga would add more firepower to the Blades’ attack
Sheffield United splashed a club-record £23.5million to sign highly-rated young striker Rhian Brewster from Liverpool in the summer. The 20-year-old’s arrival at Bramall Lane represented a significant boost to a goal-shy Blades attack that scored only 39 goals in the Premier League last season.
Chris Wilder’s side, though, are yet to reap the benefits of their massive outlay on Brewster in the summer. The youngster has visibly struggled to make an instant impact in the top-flight, failing to find the net in 4 league appearances so far.
However, he isn’t the only one to blame for United’s dismal start to the campaign that has seen them accumulate just a solitary point from their 8 opening PL fixtures so far.
The likes of David McGoldrick, Oliver McBurnie, Billy Sharp and Oliver Burke have all failed to deliver the goods in front of goal. The injury to Lys Mousset has further compounded Wilder’s problems. As a result, the Blades have managed only 4 goals from 8 games so far, which is the worst scoring record in the entire division.
While Brewster remains a top prospect with plenty of untapped potential, Sheffield United will surely need to bring in an experienced striker when the market reopens in January. And reigniting interest in Britt Assombalonga could be a smart idea for the Blades as they look to overturn a nightmarish start to the season.
Assombalonga has hit double figures in the goals column in five out of his last six seasons in the second-tier, establishing himself as a competent striker at the Championship level.
An overall tally of 71 goals in 200 career appearances in the Championship looks quite promising indeed. The Congolese star definitely deserves a shot at proving his credentials in the top-flight.
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There are no guarantees that Britt Assombalonga would be able to make the grade in the Premier League. But it’s worth pointing out that Sheffield United will find it incredibly hard to attract elite-level players in January if they continue to languish in the relegation zone.
To that end, Assombalonga’s solid track record in the Championship, coupled with the fact that he still has plenty to offer at 27, should make him more than worth a punt for the Blades.