Following on from his departure from Championship side Watford earlier in the summer, Britt Assombalonga is still yet to find a new club.
The striker would spend just six months at Vicarage Road, having joined the Hornets from Turkish Süper Lig side Adana Demirspor in January. In what was his second spell with the club, Assombalonga would make just eleven appearances, all from off of the substitute bench. It was fairly obvious that he wasn’t in the future plans at Vicarage Road and is now testing the free agent market.
The Democratic Republic of Congo international would be an excellent pick-up for a number of Championship teams as well as for any promotion chasers in League One. Assombalonga would bring a plethora of experience to whoever his next club is and is more than proven in the EFL.
To his name, the striker has 232 Championship appearances and 77 goals to his name alongside his 43 appearances and 23 goals in League One and still has plenty of time to improve upon those number. An out-and-out striker, Assombalonga has an eye for goal and his greatest asset would be his finishing. Most well-known for his time at Middlesbrough, the 30-year-old has also sported the colours of Peterborough, Nottingham Forest, Watford and Southend during his time in the EFL, where he’s appeared in each of the three tiers which make up the Football League.
Although he has been linked with a move back to Turkey, journalist Darren Witcoop reported that the striker would like to stay in the EFL for family reasons. No side is yet to appear as a front runner to gain his services for the forthcoming season but Assombalonga would fit into a whole host of EFL sides.
Here are five potential landing spots for the striker this summer…
A step-down to League One certainly isn’t out of question and Blackpool will be one of the few teams who could afford the 30 year olds wages. The number nine spot is also somewhat vacant currently following the departure of talisman Jerry Yates to Blackpool. The Tangerines supposedly managed to get £2.5 million for the striker and that money could attract Assombalonga to Bloomfield Road. Blackpool have high aspirations for the forthcoming season and he could be the missing piece of the puzzle.
A team who narrowly avoided relegation last season was Neil Warnock’s Huddersfield. The two had worked together during Warnock’s spell as manager at Middlesbrough from 2020 to 2021, so will be familiar with one another’s styles. Under Warnock, Assombalonga would make 39 Championship appearances, scoring ten times. A return is not out of question and with the Terriers expected to be near the bottom of the Championship yet again, the striker could be the difference between survival and relegation.
Like Huddersfield, QPR look to be another side who are yet again destined to be near the bottom of the second tier. A move to the London side would make the most sense from a geographical standpoint, but the R’s do also have Scottish National striker Lyndon Dykes within their ranks. For that reason, Loftus Road may not be the likeliest landing spot but a move is not totally out of question. After a poor end to last season, QPR will be desperate to find someone who could act as a catalyst for changing the club’s fortunes and Assombalonga could be their man.
A return to a former club is also not completely out of question. However a move to Peterborough would only be brought to life if star striker Jonson Clarke-Harris leaves London Road this summer. Therefore this move all depends on Clarke-Harris so is rather unlikely but after an incredible season for Posh, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he completed a move this summer. Like Huddersfield’s Warnock, the 30-year-old also has experienced playing under Posh manager Darren Ferguson. The two could reunite, with the club looking to mount a successful promotion challenge to the Championship this season.
Like Blackpool and Peterborough, Derby also have high aspirations for the forthcoming season. The Rams top our writers’ collective League One predicted table and are expected to be bang there this season. They will be without striker David Mcgoldrick who even after scoring 22 League One goals last season, departed for League Two newcomers Notts County earlier in the summer. Conor Washington has been brought in from Rotherham as a replacement but manager Paul Warne will want some healthy competition. Assombalonga still has plenty left in the tank, and could take the Rams to new heights.
I believe that a move to a League One side is most likely currently, and with a move to Peterborough reliant on Clarke-Harris’ whereabouts, I see Blackpool and Derby as the two likeliest landing spots. Blackpool will be looking to fill the void that Jerry Yates left, likewise Derby with David McGoldrick and Assombalonga is more than proven at the level. He has dominated League One in the past, and although now 30, could do once again if completing a move this summer.