Assombalonga cost 60x the fee Ipswich paid for Waghorn... so who is better value for money?
- Credit: Archant
Saturday’s clash between Middlesbrough and Ipswich pits the Championship’s most expensive striker against arguably the bargain of the season.
In Britt Assombalonga, Boro possess a man who has become one of the second tier’s most-feared forwards in recent years, leading to his £15million move to the Riverside in the summer.
But for that money you could buy 60 Martyn Waghorns.
The bargain £250,000 signing from Rangers has been a revelation since moving to Portman Road in the summer, with 10 goals to his name already despite playing much of the campaign in a wide role.
Despite Middlesbrough’s struggles, Assombalonga has also found the net on a regular basis, striking 11 times, but the pair have the same goals-to-games ratio (0.55), given the Boro man has played two games more.
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Break it down further to minutes played, Waghorn clearly has the edge. The Ipswich man has played 493 less minutes than his Boro rival, more than five whole games, giving him a goal every 127 minutes compared to Assombalonga’s average of one every 160.
But while the goals have been there for Assombalonga, Waghorn offers something to his side all over the field, with his link up play and four assists proving important for an Ipswich side which has been hitting teams on the break in recent weeks. Assombalonga has yet to assist a Middlesbrough goal, but does possess marginally better passing and shooting accuracy percentages than Waghorn.
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Eight of Waghorn’s goals have come in Ipswich wins, while Middlesbrough striker Assombalonga has struck nine times in games in which his side have gone on to win three points.
But Waghorn’s great strength is his role in an Ipswich team which is currently the second highest scoring in the division, with the striker contributing 29 per cent of his side’s 35 goals.
The Blues don’t rely on the former Sunderland man to the same extent Garry Monk’s Boro do, with Assombalonga accounting for 44 per cent of his side’s goals. Only Assomalonga, Grant Leadbitter and Martin Braithwaite have scored more than one Championship goal for Middlesbrough this season, compared to the six Ipswich players who have managed to do so.
Which of the two strikers will come out on top tomorrow? Only time will tell.