Middlesbrough have been lacking firepower this season, and are still the lowest scorers in the top half despite scoring three goals away at West Brom on Saturday.
With Middlesbrough’s low goals tally, people questioned why they allowed a striker to leave the club in January, with Martin Braithwaite joining Spanish La Liga outfit CD Leganes.
He has hit the ground running at his new club, scoring three goals in his first four games. He scored the decisive goal at home against Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey win and at the Camp Nou against Barcelona, as well as the opener in Monday’s 2-1 win away at Rayo Vallecano.
There has always been a player there, but Middlesbrough and manager Tony Pulis failed to get the best out of Braithwaite. He repeatedly requested a move away from the club, and has had two successful loan spells at Bordeaux and now Leganes, sandwiched either side of a mixed spell with the Teessiders this season.
Despite his good start in La Liga, Boro will more than likely sell the Danish international upon his return to Teesside at the end of the campaign. Having signed for a reported fee of £9 million, Pulis will be looking to recuperate the majority of, if not all or more of the fee paid to Toulouse in July 2017 under previous manager Garry Monk.
Braithwaite was competing with Britt Assombalonga, Jordan Hugill, Rudy Gestede and Ashley Fletcher in the Boro setup, and instead of playing in his natural number nine position, he was often played in behind or out wide, meaning he couldn’t have the desired impact Pulis wanted.
No doubt Middlesbrough will be monitoring his progress out on loan, and discussions at the end of his short-term deal at Leganes will determine if he will play his part at The Riverside in the future.