Fight For The Golden Boot – Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga vs Leeds United’s Chris Wood
Naturally, it’s difficult to pit one player against another this way and come up with a definitive answer to the question of who is the best; however, we’re always willing to have a go!
The results, even at the end of the season that is about to start, may not be that conclusive given that a lot will depend on the overall success of their respective teams. Both Middlesbrough and Leeds are fancied for promotion to varying degrees and so their forward prowess may lead to plenty of chances being created for both players.
It could be a reasonably fair fight for another reason. As things stand, most people would expect Boro to finish above Leeds United and therefore for Assombalonga to have more chances as the season goes on. However, the signing of Ashley Fletcher means the Congolese striker may have things all his own way at the Riverside while Wood is seen as the man to find the net for Leeds on a regular basis.
The Elland Road side will perhaps hope to not rely on the big Kiwi quite so much this season. Unless something drastically changes between now and the beginning of September, their squad would still have the look of one which needs Wood to be on tip-top form if they are to make the playoffs and get a shot at the Premier League.
In pure goal scoring terms, Wood comes out on top without any doubt from last season’s figures, with his 27 league goals in 44 games measuring up to a strike-rate of 61%. Conversely, Assombalonga managed 14 in 32 (44%) although it must be pointed out that he was not fully fit for all of the campaign and was playing for a side desperately trying to escape relegation.
Given that injuries have hampered his progression and that he is a year younger than Wood anyway, you’d expect some sharp improvement from Assombalonga over the next twelve months and so factoring that in with his playing for a title favourite means he may yet prove to be the better of the two.
Certainly, the Premier League clubs (if he doesn’t make it there with Boro), will be out to get him either in January or next summer which shows where they all think he will be on the long-term. For Wood though, he may be disappointed to have not been the subject of major bids from that division this summer.