Middlesbrough Potentially Hit Gold With Deal For Kike

Middlesbrough kike

Burnley’s signing of Lukas Jutkiewicz has been met with an underwhelming reaction, the striker earning a move back to the Premier League despite the poor form he displayed in a two-year spell with Middlesbrough, in which he scored 11 league goals from 65 appearances.

A slightly better record of 7 goals from 20 games on loan at Bolton in the second half of last season convinced Sean Dyche to make him his sixth signing of this summer, but there will be a worry that Jutkiewicz’s sporadic scoring record of 57 goals from a career that has taken in 251 games across nine clubs, will see him struggle in the Premier League.

Middlesbrough will see the £2.5 million they have received for the outgoing striker as a bonus considering they never quite saw the 25 year old produce his best form since his £1.3 million move from Coventry in January 2012. Chairman Steve Gibson has already reinvested the money into the squad, allowing manager Aitor Karanka to sign a replacement in Real Murcia’s Enrique Garcia while the north east club also eye up a £1.5 move for Huddersfield’s Adam Clayton.

Karanka, who took over the Championship club from Tony Mowbray last November and directed them to a 12th place finish, predicted promotion back in May and with generous backing and an ambitious list of targets, the Spanish coach will be in a good position to deliver that come the season’s start in August.

A lot of excitement will be generated over Garcia, the 24 year old who joins for €1.5 million after emerging through the ranks in Spain with Murcia. With 7 caps from the same Spanish under-20 side with which Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta, Barcelona’s Jordi Alba and Manchester United’s newly-acquired Ander Herrera, Kike won the Mediterranean Games with that age group in 2009. He would also travel to 2009 under-20 World Cup shortly after making his first appearance as a professional, coming on a substitute in Murcia’s 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo in the Segunda Division.

Though his arrival at the Riverside will reunite him with a team-mate from that 2009 triumph in Pescara, the goalkeeper Tomas Mejias, Kike’s career hasn’t quite followed the paths of the more illustrious names he once shared an age group with.

It would take him just a couple of months of the 2009-2010 season to earn a 3-year professional deal with Murcia and despite suffering a fibula injury in September 2011 which ruled him out of an entire campaign, Garcia would record a total of 48 goals from 150 games with the Spanish club who stay in the Segunda Division after finishing fourth last season, but losing to Cordoba in the play-offs.

Kike’s 23 goals would see him miss out on top goal-scorer to Borja Viguera of Alaves by just two strikes but along with the 9 assists he made it would be a huge indication of the talent he holds.

Karanka was a coach in the 2009 Mediterranean Games’ triumph and still holds the striker in high regard. “He is the striker who scored 23 goals last season but I don’t want to put too much pressure on him”, said the ‘Boro manager. “I know him from five years ago and the most important thing is he is a very good lad, a very good professional and he’s going to be very comfortable in our atmosphere because all the lads have given him a very good welcome.”

Championship crowds are likely to see a powerful and clinical striker should Garcia settle in at the Riverside and one of his main talents is the instinctive movement he uses to escape the attentions of defenders in the box and onto through-balls coming in from the midfield.

A look back at his strikes from last term show him to be mobile and intelligent, both-footed and able to score any type of goal given his technical ability. Constantly on the move for space, when presented with half a yard of space in the box Kike will usually find the net with deadly potency and composure.

With Mustapha Carayol, Emmanuel Ledesma, Albert Adomah and Dean Whitehead providing the creative spark from midfield, Kike will not be short of supply as Karanka aims to return Middlesbrough to the top tier for the first time in 6 years.

More signings will now inevitably follow as Gibson remains eager for success and Karanka uses his Jutkiewicz windfall and his Spanish contacts to identify targets, but they are unlikely to be more exciting or curious than the deal to bring Kike, one of Spain’s unearthed gems, to England.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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