Boro choose right man to fire them back to the Premier League
The final touches are still being applied to David Nugent’s reported £4m move to Middlesbrough, but when it is completed the Championship club will have conducted some fine business.
Despite the headline signing of local lad Stewart Downing from West Ham this summer, a gaping hole has been left in Aitor Karanka’s squad at the sharp end of the pitch which desperately needed filling.
The departures of Championship Player of the Season Patrick Bamford, Lee Tomlin and Jelle Vossen, who contributed 31 league goals between them last term, has left Karanka well short of proven strikers with the campaign underway.
That is where Nugent’s capture makes so much sense and for a pretty good price too, despite the former Preston North End man turning 30 in May.
Boro chairman Steve Gibson has sanctioned bids of 10 and £12m for Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes, which were subsequently rejected by the Lancashire side.
That would have meant parting with a huge sum of cash for the Scotland international, whereas Nugent’s goal record in the second tier is still among the best out there over recent seasons.
Although the Leicester man has struggled to make the grade in the Premier League his CV is littered with impressive returns in the Championship.
His three seasons with the Foxes alone saw the Huyton native bag 15, 14 and then 20 to fire them to the 2013/14 title under Nigel Pearson.
Nugent’s track record speaks for itself at this level, even from his Preston days, so Boro fans should be delighted to welcome him on board at the Riverside.
Having lost out on promotion via the heartbreak of their play-off final defeat last season, the Reds are now joint favourites alongside Derby for the title at 11/2 and promotion by any means at 7/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.