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As well as throwing in a £14million bid for Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga, Middlesbrough have shown they mean business with the £9million signing of striker Martin Braithwaite from Toulouse.
The Denmark international has put pen to paper on a four year contract at the Riverside and shows that Boro and manager Garry Monk have proper ambition. He scored 11 goals in 34 appearances last season in France and will join his new teammates in Portugal on their tour.
Boro are really beefing up their attacking options and see this as the main feature which will get them out of the Championship at the first attempt and back up to the Premier League. It is important for any promotion-chasing team to have its front line firing and Boro can be forgiven for trying to do the same. Last season saw Newcastle get promoted due to Dwight Gayle’s exploits.
Braithwaite is just as capable up front in the no.9 position or playing as a secondary striker, even comfortable out wide too. At 26 years of age, he is just reaching his peak as a striker, with the Championship looking like a natural progression for the man who spent four years in France, having signed for Toulouse from hometown club Esbjeg.
He has expressed a wish to proceed from Toulouse and sees Boro and the Championship as a step up. Braithwaite climbed the ranks at the French club, eventually becoming an important part of the set up and his 11 goals last season helped them to a mid-table finish.
The front man has shown an interest in playing in England before, having had a trial 40 miles north of Boro, at Newcastle, before heading off to France. He eventually became the captain at Toulouse with the club flirting with relegation two seasons ago – a move which was praised by fans. This shows Braithwaite is a leader.
In a memorable relegation scrap against Anger, Braithwaite scored a goal in a game, where his side were twice behind, before winning 3-2 and staying safe. His charity work as well as his rise to captaincy marked a real coming of age in France and means Boro are getting a fine all round player – the complete package already.
The Championship is wide open at this point and those shining at the top will undoubtedly have one or two big goal scorers in their squad. Boro would be hoping that they have landed one here.