This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough have confirmed the signing of Fulham striker Rodrigo Muniz, with the Brazilian forward touching down at the Riverside Stadium on a season-long loan.
The 21-year-old joined the Cottagers last summer and found himself immediately in a deputy role to record-breaker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Still managing five goals in 487 minutes of league action last time out, Muniz proved to be a handy option from the bench.
Middlesbrough have been looking to bolster their attacking options from the start of the summer, adding Marcus Forss to the squad earlier in the campaign.
Here, three of our writers here at Football League World have shared their thoughts about Muniz’s arrival on Teesside and whether or not they can see him starting regularly as the Championship campaign progresses…
Fulham would have been seeking loan destinations where they could envisage Muniz playing regular minutes, so it would be no surprise if the young striker gets plenty of opportunities.
Of course, the 21-year-old needs to back up the faith that will be placed in him with good performances, as he will have no divine right to see regular minutes from the start.
However, Muniz has shown plenty of potential in the early stages of his Fulham career, and should Mitrovic not have been chasing down various goalscoring records last time out, the young forward would have likely been given more opportunities.
Given the emphasis on recruiting strikers during this summer, Wilder will likely be trying out different combinations, although the scope has certainly narrowed after Chuba Akpom’s injury.
Chris Wilder has needed to add to his attacking options this summer so this is a great addition for Boro and will no doubt provide the side with a good boost.
You would certainly expect to see Muniz be an important part of the team anyway with the ability to have an impact. However, following the news of Chuba Akpom’s injury that will keep him out for a few weeks, you can see Munoz walk straight into the starting 11.
Therefore, if he can start well and show his talent then Chris Wilder will be keen to reward him and keep him in the side.
Following a disappointing weekend for Middlesbrough, Wilder has spoken about the fact that no one has a guaranteed spot in his team so you can see Muniz being a breath of fresh air and getting regular minutes for his new side if he proves worthy.
At this stage, it would be difficult to see him not being a regular starter under Chris Wilder.
Matthew Hoppe and Josh Coburn seem to be ones for the future, Duncan Watmore may not have the quality needed to be one of the first names on the teamsheet, Marcus Forss is still developing and Chuba Akpom was on the fringes of the first team not so long ago.
Muniz may be similar to Forss with both still having plenty of room to improve – but the latter didn’t exactly do anything special to retain his place on Saturday with an underwhelming display against Reading.
In fact, their attacking display as a whole was woeful and they need someone like Muniz to come and shake things up, with the Brazilian actually doing well to adapt to English football reasonably quickly.
He may not have been one of the first names on the teamsheet at Craven Cottage – but he can definitely be a regular starter during this loan spell at the Riverside and become a fan favourite.
The addition of another striker between now and the end of the window will provide further competition – but it would be no surprise to see him retain a starting spot even with that in mind.
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