Middlesbrough finally nab Jordon Rhodes
Holly Thackeray | February, 2016
All Rhodes lead to Boro for Jordan
Championship title challengers Middlesbrough have finally signed striker Jordan Rhodes from Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee of around £9m on a four-and-a-half year deal, drawing to a close one of the winter window’s longest running transfer sagas.
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) February 1, 2016
“The club is delighted to confirm the arrival of Jordan Rhodes from Blackburn Rovers…The Scotland international arrives as one of the most prolific goalscorers to have graced the Football League in recent years,” said an statement on the club’s official website.
In an on-again-off-again deal to rival the most bizarre of transfers, with both parties at first failing to agree terms, Boro have bagged their man, boosting their title chances from an already odds-on 4/5 with Coral.
The move appeared to have collapsed on Sunday night, but was revived on Monday, with Rhodes now set to rock up at Riverside Stadium, after a previous offer in excess of £10m was reportedly rejected in summer 2015.
Rampant Rhodes to tip title race?
Former Huddersfield Town hitman Rhodes formed one of the Championship’s most potent partnerships alongside now Aston Villa attacker Rudy Gestede for Rovers, who he joined in 2012 for a then club record fee.
After bagging 82 in 155 games across all competitions for Blackburn, never failing to score less than 20 league goals while at Ewood Park, Rhodes could just be the marksman to help Middlesbrough finally reach Premier League promotion.
Aitor Karanka and co have certainly been in need of a top-draw frontman, scoring only more than notably toothless Brighton and Hove Albion among their top five rivals.
Uruguay international Cristhian Stuani started the season off brightly but is not a classic number nine, meaning he could benefit from acting as a foil for the more ferocious Rhodes. Spanish striker Kike Garcia and David Nugent have both been criticised in front of net, with Boro drawing blanks in both of their last two matches.
There are few more proven at this level than 25-year-old Rhodes, who will surely have one eye on propelling himself to the Premier League, where he is yet to ply his trade. Traditional former Championship centre forwards Charlie Austin and Odion Ighalo are shining examples of making a successful step up, while Oldham-born sharpshooter Rhodes will also be keen to improve his international standing with Scotland.
Capped just 13 times, with three goals in front of the Tartan Army fans, spearheading a raid for the Championship trophy could only increase Rhodes’ chances of recognition from Gordon Strachan.
As for Boro, perhaps this poacher will be the missing piece….