Middlesbrough want to keep Celtic-linked Britt Assombalonga

By David Walton

July 24, 2019

The idea of Britt Assombalonga to Celtic has taken a knock after his current manager’s comments on him.

The big Middlesbrough striker was linked by the Northern Echo to Celtic earlier on this month. Unsurprisingly, no move by the Hoops for last season’s 16-goal man has been made. That may have something to do with the fact he cost the Championship outfit £15million when he signed two years ago (BBC).

After a disappointing year last season, it appears the striker is finding his groove under new manager Jonathan Woodgate. Assombalonga netted a hat-trick against Salford City in his first pre-season match of the campaign, and his confidence looks high once more.

Britt Assombalonga netted 16 times in total last season, but bagged 14 in the Championship (George Wood/Getty Images)

And, if Celtic are interested, a move for him looks bleak after Woodgate’s latest words. He’s effectively told the Echo that his number one striker won’t be going anywhere.

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“Britt Assombalonga is a Middlesbrough player for the future. And now. Britt will score you goals wherever he plays. His record shows it. If he gets an arm round him, gets that confidence he will score goals.

“The key when he is going through a sticky patch, it’s to stick with him. Stay with him, keep him in the firing line. Sometimes when you might take him out, he could get one off his knee or something, he is a fantastic lad and I like him as a lad as well.

“They were proper finishes tonight. His second was a proper finish, how sweet did he catch it? The first he was in the right place and the third he has got to the back post. We have Robbie Keane who will work hard with the strikers.”

Britt Assombalonga to Celtic looks unlikely after Woodgate comments

It’s clear that Middlesbrough have a plan for their star-striker. You can hardly blame them either. After splashing out such an enormous amount to lure him to the Riverside Stadium, they’ll be wanting to do all they can to make sure he’s a success.

Assombalonga’s fee would be a concern (Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Since the link by the Northern Echo, Celtic haven’t made any sort of progression regarding a move for him. The Hoops do need a striker this summer if they’re going to be playing with two up top at times under Neil Lennon. But Middlesbrough are under no pressure to sell, and if they want anywhere close to what they spent on him, they can surely forget it.

It doesn’t help the Hoops cause that Assmbalonga has also come out and praised the new regime at Middlesbrough (BBC). He stated that everyone is enjoying themselves under the new management. It’s hardly a come-and-get-me plea from the forward.

Neil Lennon will want one more striker in (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Overall, Assombalonga has netted 31 times for Middlesbrough since his move from Nottingham Forest. At the City Ground, he bagged 30 goals. He’s also had spells at Peterborough United, Southend United, Watford, and Braintree Town.

Celtic fans would likely be concerned if the club splashed out on Assombalonga. He doesn’t necessarily have the record to suggest that he would be a massive success up here. Especially not if we paid a record fee for him.

And it looks as though his future at Middlesbrough is secured in any case. This is yet another transfer link we can just about cross out.