Phil Hay delivers update on reported Leeds move for Assombalonga
A new striker’s name has entered the arena for Leeds United – Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga. That’s according to James Whaling in the Mirror.
However, Athletic journalist Phil Hay has delivered some respite for fans who don’t want to see the Middlesbrough man at Elland Road.
We say “some”. Hay said that while Assombalonga is “not on the main list” for Leeds, he did say that the club had taken a look at him.
not on the main list. Not wrong to say Leeds have taken a look either.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) January 21, 2020
The 27-year-old striker has 18 months left on his contract at Boro after joining them for just over £15m from Nottingham Forest in 2017.
He’s scored six goals in 20 Championship games this season but hasn’t been in the squad for the past eight games because of an ankle injury.
However, he is back in training and is expected to be fit again this week.
We have to admit we’re left a bit cold by this and we’re glad that it looks like he’s not still a priority for Leeds.
Assombalonga’s biggest haul in the Championship is 15 goals in the 17/18 season with Boro. Move down to League One and he got 23 in 43 for Peterborough in the 13/14 season.
He’s been capped five times for DR Congo and played three times, scoring once, in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
He would be an okay back-up for Bamford but no more than that and after being linked with Che Adams and Andre Gray, we’re hoping for a bit more.
He wouldn’t be a viable Premier League option and Leeds would surely only have been looking at a-rest-of-the-season loan, although the report didn’t say either what sort of deal Leeds are/were looking for or whether Middlesbrough would be prepared to let him go.
Assombalonga wouldn’t have been cheap either – he’s reportedly on £35k-a-week at the Riverside.
Would he be better than nothing? Absolutely, but the injury has to be a big concern. He’s been out since the beginning of December and Leeds can’t afford to sign someone who may be out for any games in the second half of the season.
Assombalonga himself would surely relish moving away from relegation-threatened Middlesbrough to Leeds, and possibly his first crack in the Premier League.
It’s not one we’re excited about.
In other Leeds United news, Companies House docs show Radrizzani prepping for possible £30m loan