Caleb Ekuban returns to the fold in Sunday and the question is, should he actually start the game with the form of others? Pierre-Michel Lasogga is the most likely to start but Kemar Roofe getting the nod wouldn’t be a huge surprise after the German’s recent levels of performance, leading to him being hooked at half-time at Brentford.
For me the ability is there with Lasogga, it’s effort levels and commitment we want to see and we know he has that in him, but he can’t choose what games he shows up for and leave us with no movement or physical side to our game in the fin al third in games at this level, teams just eat him up and on numerous occasions that’s happened in recent games. Kemar Roofe is a totally different player but he offers something very unique in that he drops in and almost plays as a number 10 at times, leaving gaps for the likes of Samu Saiz to go and exploit, something he is more than capable of doing. For the first time in a while Christiansen made good changes at half time in the Brentford game then undid all his work by changing tactics and putting Grot on up front, the game changed in that moment and we lost the game.
Caleb Ekuban hasn’t played for a while and the chances of him starting are very unlikely but Christiansen has said he’s been training with the squad for three weeks and has had no problems, so why he can’t start I’m not sure but situations like this only ever really end up with one outcome, the player on the bench and perhaps getting the last half an hour or so. If we do feel Ekuban is fit to start I think he could really help us in a very tough game. The Boro defenders will like Lasogga with his back to them, they are powerful and physical and they will probably relish the battle but Ekuban running the channels and dropping into holes, getting in behind they certainly won’t. Boro are beatable if we play to our higher standards but if we play the same was as the last month and a half we will get turned over and that won’t be good for anyone for a variety of reasons. Could Ekuban actually give us the unknown and unpredictability that Monk won’t expect?