Why Middlesbrough signing Lukas Nmecha makes perfect sense
According to BBC, Middlesbrough have secured the services of Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha on loan until the end of the season, with manager Jonathan Woodgate opting to add more firepower to his team’s attack during the January window.
The 21-year-old spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Wolfsburg in Germany but the Cityzens chose to terminate his loan spell after the youngster started only once in the Bundesliga and clocked up just 12 appearances across all competitions, failing to find the net in any of his outings.
Middlesbrough have now added Nmecha to their squad on a loan deal, thus completing their second raid on Man City in the ongoing transfer window. Patrick Roberts headed to the Riverside Stadium on loan yesterday after spending time at Norwich City and now Nmecha has come through the door as Boro’s second signing in the winter market.
Born in Hamburg. Germany, Nmecha relocated to England at a young age and rose through the youth ranks of Man City before making his professional debut for the Citizens against Leicester City in an EFL Cup tie back in 2017.
The 21-year-old, who has represented both England and Germany at the U-21 level, was subsequently handed his Premier League debut as a late substitute against West Ham during the 2017-18 campaign.
Nmecha, thereafter, scored his first senior goal against Bayern Munich in City’s 2018-19 pre-season tour before heading out on loan to Preston North End in the Championship.
The highly-rated starlet went on to enjoy a decent loan spell at Deepdale, registering 4 goals and 5 assists in 41 appearances before joining Wolfsburg this past summer. Essentially a right-footed centre-forward by trade, Nmecha is also versatile enough to play out wide in an attacking role.
Man City already have promising prospects like Jack Harrison, Tosin Adarabioyo and Arijanet Muric on loan at respective Championship clubs and now the likes of Nmecha and Roberts have joined the boat.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are currently on a roll after a disappointing first half of the campaign under Woodgate, having won each of their last four league fixtures ahead of an FA Cup home tie against Tottenham on Sunday.
The Teessiders have closed the gap on the top-six to just eight points following a string of impressive results but Woodgate will know that there is still a lot of work to be done if Boro are to mount an unlikely surge for the playoffs in the second half of the season.
Middlesbrough had been crying out for some inspiration in the final third during the first half of the campaign and the arrival of Lukas Nmecha after a loan deal for Roberts is expected to sound music to the ears of the club faithful.
Having scored just 26 goals in 26 games so far, bringing in attacking reinforcements in January was always going to be a priority for the club hierarchy, and the acquisition of Nmecha on loan means that Woodgate now has some quality depth in his attack to work with.
The likes of Marcus Tavernier and Ashley Fletcher have risen to the occasion in the injury absence of Britt Assombalonga to inspire Boro to some impressive wins in recent weeks.
However, with fixtures set to come thick and fast in the following months, Boro’s depth and quality in attack will surely be put to test and that is exactly where someone like Nmecha could prove to be a real asset to Woodgate’s system.
As evident from the impressive growth of Tavernier, Aynsley Pears, Hayden Coulson and Djed Spence at the Riverside Stadium this season, Woodgate has shown his proficiency in nurturing young talents and Lukas Nmecha should find it a lot easier to settle down in a squad that is currently bursting with some burgeoning academy talents.
Also, the 21-year-old’s versatility could come in handy for Boro while he already has some decent Championship experience under his belt from his previous loan spell at Preston last season.
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With that in mind, Middlesbrough look to have completed a shrewd piece of business with a loan deal for Man City starlet Lukas Nmecha.