Why Sam Cosgrove could be the saviour for Middlesbrough in January
According to the Hartlepool Mail, Middlesbrough are among the clubs interested in signing Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove, who has been in blistering form for the Dons in the Scottish Premiership this season.
However, if Boro are genuinely interested in securing the services of the 22-year-old Yorkshire-born hitman then they would need to beat off stiff competition from Championship rivals Derby County, Charlton Athletic, Brentford and Stoke City. (h/t Hartlepool Mail)
Cosgrove, who has already gobbled up 16 goals in 20 appearances for Aberdeen across all competitions, is currently one of the most in-form players in the Scottish top-flight.
Having been released by Everton as a teenager, Sam Cosgrove joined Wigan Athletic to further his development but he made only one first-team appearance for the Latics and eventually ended up at fourth-tier outfit Carlisle United in the summer of 2017 following unsuccessful loan spells at Barrow, Chorley and North Ferriby United in the National League and National League North.
After scoring once in 12 appearances for Carlisle in all competitions, which remains his only goal in English professional football till date, Cosgrove completed a move to Aberdeen in January 2018 in a bid to resurrect his faltering career, and the Yorkshire-born star has managed to find his stride at the Pittodrie Stadium.
Having racked up 21 goals across all competitions for the Dons last term, Cosgrove looks well and truly on course for an incredible tally this time around after netting 16 in 20 appearances at an average of 1.25 goals per game.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are currently reeling at the bottom of the Championship standings following a shocking start to their campaign under new manager Jonathan Woodgate, with the Teessiders only managing to accumulate two wins from their first 16 league fixtures so far.
There was an air of optimism around the Riverside Stadium in the summer when Woodgate took over the reins from Tony Pulis but all that seems to have faded away now, with the one-time Premier League regulars locked in a relegation dogfight in the Championship.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where Woodgate should be looking to invest in January, as evident from Boro’s meagre return of 13 goals in 16 games, which is the joint-worst scoring record in the entire division alongside Wigan Athletic.
Britt Assombalonga has found the net on just 6 occasions in 16 Championship outings so far while Rudy Gestede’s involvement has been restricted to just 4 cameos off the bench.
Furthermore, with wide attackers Marcus Tavernier, Ashley Fletcher, Marvin Johnson and Marcus Browne all failing to live up to the expectations, it is easy to see why Boro have struggled so badly for goals.
To put things into perspective, Middlesbrough are presently crying out for a new striker in January and Sam Cosgrove could well be the man to save them from the ignominy of a horror season in the Championship.
The 22-year-old has been firing on all cylinders in the Scottish top-flight over the past fifteen months or so, and notwithstanding the fact that his previous failures on the English shores make him a bit of a risky proposition, Cosgrove now looks like a completely transformed young striker with a lot more ammunition in his repertoire and the hunger to rip defences apart.
The Yorkshireman has progressed by leaps and bounds over the course of his stint at Aberdeen and Middlesbrough could land themselves a potential saviour if Cosgrove manages to replicate his rich vein of form in the Championship.
Also, with Gestede out of contract next summer and Assombalonga not the most reliable of strikers, Cosgrove looks like a player in the right age bracket who could possibly be a long-term solution to Boro’s conundrum up top.
The 22-year-old might have struggled to establish himself in England in his earlier days but he certainly deserves a second crack of the whip to prove his credentials.
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All in all, Sam Cosgrove is certainly worth a punt for Middlesbrough in January, as they need an immediate answer to their lack of goals in the Championship.