As reported on The 72 yesterday, Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede is nearing a first team return and has been training with the squad in the past few days.

Now Gestede has returned to action with Middlesbrough’s under-23s side, and was instrumental in their 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Goals from Sam Stubbs, Ashley Fletcher and Marcus Tavernier were enough to see out the game for Boro, with Callum Morton and Rekeem Harper scoring for the Baggies.

Gestede returning to full fitness will be a boost for Tony Pulis’ side, as he offers them something different. Strikers Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga have been given the nod in recent weeks, and Jordan Hugill is knocking on the first team door. But Gestede can be effective in the air and can be useful in winning knock downs for a strike partner.

By getting minutes under his belt it will only help him to regain his form and his fitness. Gestede played 66 minutes in the game and although he failed to get on the scoresheet, he did impress in the game before being replaced by 18-year old Marcus O’Neill.

As well as the striker playing his first minutes for Boro in months, there was also a first sight of new signing Sam McQueen in a red and white shirt, as he started the game in defence. He also impressed on his debut, setting up chance after chance for the likes of Gestede and Fletcher, and ultimately set up Middlesbrough’s third goal scored by Tavernier.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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