Britt. Bamford. Braithwaite. Gestede.
Those four names equate to almost 40 million pounds worth of striking talent available at Garry Monk’s disposal – three of which are arguably proven goalscorers at Championship level.
But what’s the point in having such quality in abundance up-top if there’s no creative spark to supply them with the chances they need in order to bag goals for fun?
Following the departure of Gaston Ramirez (ignoring those undeniable off-the-field flaws), it was glaringly obvious, Boro now lacked that bit of instinctive-magic that could change a game at any given moment.
And following recent transfer speculation, regarding a bid for Brentford’s star-man Jota, it would seem Garry Monk is thinking exactly the same.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 23, 2017
Despite Boro’s initial approach being rejected by the Bees, why should this certainly not put the club off making an improved bid for the 26-year-old Spanish playmaker?
The star-man effect
Adel Taarabt (QPR), Scott Sinclair (Swansea), Anthony Knockaert (Leicester & Brighton) and Gaston Ramirez.
Those are just a few names that helped promoted teams over the line with their creative quality and ability to change a game at the drop of a hat, something that is a vital asset for any team pushing towards the right end of the Championship table.
At the moment, despite having clear quality in front of goal, Boro seem to lack exactly that – although such an assessment could be slightly unfair given we are yet to see much of Lewis Baker, who certainly showed such promise with a well-taken midweek goal against Scunthorpe United!
More to come! 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/nKGQ0TXTel
— TheGoodTheBadTheBoro (@GoodBadBoro) August 23, 2017
However, with the signing of Jota, we avoid such pondering over a player who might do it – and instead – bring in a proven playmaker who has shown his worth time and time again in the Championship – including during Brentford’s impressive charge for promotion that ended in defeat to Boro in the playoff semi-final.
A 2017 stat for you to lay your eyes on…
Jota: Since the turn of the year only Chris Wood (21) has had a direct hand in more Championship goals than Jota (20) pic.twitter.com/OAmBLPuuYD
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 23, 2017
The final piece of the Boro jigsaw
The usual passing direction of Boro’s current midfield three.
Despite Howson, Forshaw and Clayton all clearly bringing decent qualities to Monk’s midfield, they’re all just a bit too ‘samey’ and fail to differentiate from each other in any way. Again, what’s the point? Surely you only need two holding midfielders (at-most) protecting an already excellent defence for the second-tier of English football.
Currently, there is no bridge between the midfield three and the three playing up-top. Jota could be that man.
One thing we have lacked is inspiring runs through the middle of the park by a dynamic and exciting playmaker, those of which Gaston Ramirez supplied while rescuing our dwindling promotion campaign last time around.
Many of Boro’s attacks this season have been provided by fullbacks over-lapping a very static midfield, in the hope that the pace and height amongst the forwards would do the rest. Instead, we now need to introduce a nifty midfielder who could provide something different – alongside putting crosses in for the towering presence of Gestede.
Monk took a lot of criticism from Leeds fans following his departure from the club for seemingly never having a ‘plan B’ and currently it genuinely feels that way – other than introducing the unpredictable Adama Traore, Boro would continue to rely on clever full-back play.
Once again, Jota would be the man to bring a more creative-spark to Monk’s side relieving the need for Christie and Friend to make lung-busting runs down the wing.
The signing may also allow Garry Monk to revert to the formation he favoured during his season at Leeds in a more attacking style of 4-2-3-1.
The view from Brentford – long time season-ticket holder Reece Smither.
I would genuinely be devastated to lose Jota. The first bid reported bid from Boro was quite insulting. For the consistency he has shown in this league – and even on loan to Eibar – his genuine worth would be around £12-15m but due to his contract situation, I reckon Boro would pull it off for around £8m.
The year we reached the play-offs Jota almost carried us there with his magic, last season, he was even better – almost unstoppable at times.
He’d bring so much excitement and flair to the team he’s certainly one to get the fans on their feet the moment he picks up the ball.
I think he’s best coming in from the right-hand side onto his left-foot – he does it almost every single time but he’s that good even being so predictable doesn’t matter.
He would slot right into a three upfront or even into a 4-2-3-1, the formation I think he would suit best.
I’ve seen Boro play against Sheffield United and it’s obvious they’re going to be the side to beat this time around along with probably Wolves.
If you manage to get Jota, which I hope you don’t, I can see it being the difference between automatic promotion and simply running away with the league. You seemed a bit boring in the midfield, even though I did like Forshaw when he was here, Jota is a much better player who would improve you massively going forward.
Would you like to see Jota sign for Boro? Drop your price and opinions in the comment section below!