• Dana Malt

What Boro fans can expect from new boy Uche Ikpeazu

Boro have wrapped up their third signing of the summer in the form of Wycombe striker Uche Ikpeazu.


Sky Sports reporter Lyall Thomas tweeted on Thursday that the 26-year-old is poised to sign for an inital fee of £750,000 plus bonuses that could take the transfer up to the £1million pound mark.


That move was confirmed by the club's social media channels on Friday afternoon.


Boro fans are well aware of Ikpeazu having scored against Neil Warnock's side back in January and providing an assist in the 3-0 win on the final day of the season.


But what can we expect in terms of his game? I spoke to Wycombe fan and editor of the Wanderer Fanzine, Jonny King, to gain an insight into the new boy.



The low down on Uche


Jonny: "Uche is a real handful upfront. Strong, tall and quick, he's an incredibly powerful player who can simply bulldoze his way through defences.


"I'd heard his ball control wasn't the greatest when he signed for us, but whilst it's probably not his greatest strength, it was still much better than I expected and he showed he's capable of scoring all kinds of goals, such as the delightful curling effort from outside the box that he scored against Middlesbrough at Adams Park.


"He's a big lad, but he's certainly not your average lower league centre forward and likes to run at players with the ball, albeit with sometimes mixed results. His workrate and attitude are spot on - he wears his heart on his sleeve and you could always tell he really cared if we won or lost."


Does he work better with a strike partner?


Jonny: "With the utmost respect to him, I don't think he'd work as a lone striker because whilst his hold up play is decent, his control does occasionally let him down. Find him the right partner though and he will run riot.


Last season we paired him with on loan Leicester striker Admiral Muskwe, who is a fairly similar style player and they quickly formed an effective partnership. He can play as the focal point in a front three, but looked at his best in a two."


About his goals return last season...


Jonny: "By the way, don't judge too much on his goalscoring record at Wycombe. He pretty much missed the first half of the season with injury and was limited to a lot of cameos from the bench as he built up match fitness.


"Once he got going he looked a real danger. I hope he does really well for you. He's quite unlike a lot of big strikers in that he has the pace to match the power and whilst he may not be a '20 goal a season' striker, with the right partner to suit him and share the goalscoring burden, I think he will continue to be a huge problem for Championship defences next season."


What's the reaction been from the Wycombe end?


Jonny: "It's an odd, mixed reaction from Wycombe fans. We're obviously sad to see him go, but also proud to see him make the step up and I've not seen anyone have a bad word to say about him going.


"We were looking forward to watching him run amok in League One next season, but if the figure we're supposedly getting is true, then that's great business for the club, considering we paid a minimal fee to bring him in. Hope he does well at Boro!"


Many thanks to Jonny for providing us with an insight unto Boro's new striker.




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