Why Middlesbrough should keep Martin Braithwaite beyond next summer
According to a report in Northern Echo, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis expects Danish forward Martin Braithwaite to be the subject of ongoing transfer speculations in the next couple of months, with January window around the corner for clubs all around Europe. However, the boss has urged the player to focus on the job in hand and help Boro to Premier League promotion by the end of this season.
This stems from the fact that the 27-year-old submitted a formal transfer request in the summer in an attempt to force his move away from Teesside to Spanish club Leganes. But Pulis forced him to stay as soon as the ex-West Brom manager got to know that he won’t be able to sign a replacement. (Northern Echo)
Now, as per the report, Leganes are poised to make a fresh bid to sign the Dane when the window reopens. However, Braithwaite has made sure that he won’t be forcing through a move this time around. He is in contract with Middlesbrough until the end of 2020/21 season. (Northern Echo)
Whatever uncertainty comes in the way, Boro must keep hold of the 27-year-old, not just until next summer, but beyond it. Here’s why:
Middlesbrough need Braithwaite’s quality
Boro have made a fantastic start to their season, staying in contention for direct promotion. They have one of the most water-tight defences in the division, having only conceded nine goals in 18 games at an average of one per two matches.
However, they have had problems in putting teams away. Scoring just 22 goals in 19 games is a meagre return for a side that is aiming to play top-flight football next season. Out of the 22, three have been netted by Braithwaite and his versatility up front helps the team in a massive way.
Predominantly a centre-forward, the Dane can operate as a number 10, as a right winger and as a left winger. He is lethal in front of the goal and is very good in the air from set-pieces, something which is very important when someone is playing under Tony Pulis. Overall, he is an all-around threat to the defenders and remains a key figure in the Boro front line.
Hence, it is imperative from the club’s viewpoint to keep the 27-year-old not just beyond January, but for next season as well. It is because he will be a genuine threat to any defence if they play in the Premier League next season.