Martin Braithwaite's Middlesbrough spell was a disaster and Leganes move suits all parties

Looking back to the summer of 2017, Martin Braithwaite’s arrival from French side Toulouse seemed like an exciting proposition.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 1:07 pm
Martin Braithwaite scored nine goals in 40 appearances for Middlesbrough over a two-year period

At 26, the Danish international should have been at the peak of his powers after impressing for the Ligue 1 side the previous campaign.

But, as it turned out, talent isn’t everything in football and there’s no hiding the fact Braithwaite’s two-year spell at Boro was a total disaster.

Last season former boss Tony Pulis said the forward was one of the top five earners he’d ever worked with, despite the Welshman’s nine-year stay in the Premier League.

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With Boro chairman Steve Gibson desperate to abide with the EFL’s Financial Fair Play rules, it seemed essential for the Teessiders to offload the 28-year-old and free up funds for new head coach Jonathan Woodgate.

At last the burden has been lifted, following the forward’s permanent switch to Spanish side Leganes, two weeks before the end of the transfer window.

In some ways it’s a shame things didn’t work out for Braithwaite, who showed glimpses he could be the creative playmaker Boro have lacked since the departure of Gaston Ramirez two years ago.

Yet, just like the Uruguayan, Braithwaite’s heart simply wasn’t in the Middlesbrough project, despite Woodgate’s comments saying he wanted to keep the player and that everyone would start with a clean slate.

During his unveiling at Rockliffe last month, Woodgate said he wanted to promote young and hungry players at the Riverside under a new regime. Despite his ability, Braithwaite didn’t fit that description and his exit will hopefully clear the way for a fresh start on Teesside.

When asked if the Dane’s departure could provide funds to make new signings this summer, Woodgate said: “I will cross that bridge when we get to it.

“I know what targets I want, Neil (Bausor) and Adrian (Bevington) know. I have left it with them. They are doing the rest.”

Braithwaite’s move to Spain appears to suit all parties - Boro, the player, even Leganes who managed to get a tune out of the forward last term.

Better late than never but Boro can finally move on from the Braithwaite saga.