Leeds United have recently been linked with a move for Britt Assombalonga.
The Congolese striker has been a deadly force at this level for a number of years now, netting double figures in four of his last five Championship campaigns, and in the Whites’ hunt for a striker, he’s understandably come up as a potential target.
However, he hasn’t been at his best this season as he’s netted just six times in the league for Middlesbrough so far.
His best season saw him score 14 goals in just 1820 minutes of Championship football, which is a more than respectable rate, and if he can recreate that form at Elland Road he’d be a real coup.
We asked our team of writers to give their verdicts as to whether or not he’d be a good addition.
“With a goal every 289 minutes in the Championship this season, Britt Assombalonga appears to be no better than Patrick Bamford, who has struck every 209 minutes. Leeds are in desperate need of a clinical centre-forward to help fire them to success, and Assombalonga just isn’t that striker.
“In his 20 games in English football’s second tier, the Middlesbrough striker has missed ten big chances – a ratio of one every two matches.
“That simply isn’t the kind of profile of player Marcelo Bielsa’s side should be looking to get. They need someone who is ice-cold and composed in front of goal, but Assombalonga bottles it like Bamford, who has missed 17 big chances in the 27 games that he has played. The Whites should steer well clear.”
“This is a deal that Leeds should only pursue if it makes financial sense to do so, and in reality that means they have to avoid spending a significant amount of money on him and attempt to construct a loan deal.
“Assombalonga has proved his consistency at Championship level in the past with 15 and 14 league goals scored in 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively, but even if he succeeded at Elland Road he would likely be a short-term fix, as he is untested at Premier League level.
“The club must weigh up whether they think he will be able to score the goals to win promotion, as if he does that then he may be worth bringing in, otherwise he could be an expensive mistake that doesn’t offer an upgrade to the options already at the club. As a result, targeting the striker is a big gamble by Bielsa.”
“With their pursuit of Che Adams hitting a brick wall after their £20m bid was rejected, Leeds could do far worse than landing Britt Assombalonga this winter.
“It’s clear Patrick Bamford is the first choice and simply bringing in someone to play second fiddle is crucial. The forward is proven in the Championship and would meet Leeds’ needs of a player who can provide a short-term fix.
“The 27-year-old may have had problems with injuries but he had three consistent seasons where he reached double figures for goals – the most of which was 15 in 2017/18.
“With Leeds missing a clear solution to their problems in attack, Orta is right to head back to his former club in a bid to land Assombalonga.“
“Britt Assombalonga wouldn’t be a great signing for Leeds, but he wouldn’t be as bad as some fans are making out.
“The former Nottingham Forest forward is unplayable on his day as shown by his one goal every 130-minute record back in the 2016/17 season.
“If he can rediscover that type of form he’d be a brilliant capture for Leeds, but the question is whether or not he can.
“Marcelo Bielsa has an uncanny ability to get the best out of players, and if he can work his magic here Leeds’ striking problems could be solved. He shouldn’t be United’s first choice, but he would certainly be a decent option.”
In other news, one thing will be vital to Leeds earning promotion.