Hugill had only scored seven goals in his previous 34 Boro outings, but was preferred to the former West Ham striker Ashley Fletcher - who had struck three in his last four - nonetheless.
And the former Preston North End striker - a £9 million signing for the Hammers last January, according to Transfermarkt - made it little more than an hour before being taken off for Fletcher.
But what did those of a Middlesbrough persuasion make of Hugill's performance? It's as bad as you might suspect...
Hugill is one of the worst strikers I’ve seen at the club. Really poor footballer— Wicomar (@Kins810) 16 March 2019
Please let that be the last time we see Hugill in a Boro shirt. Terrible player.— Ben Jameson (@benjameson2) 16 March 2019
Is it too late to send hugill back?— Ashley M (@AshleyM_1994) 16 March 2019
Good. He’s been absolutely hopeless— Alex Hardy (@alexhardy1987) 16 March 2019
Dream scenario: Tony Pulis resigns, Woody takes over, sends Hugill back and drops Friend. We play Tav, VLP and Fletch.— Jack Strawberry (@BoroStrawberry) 17 March 2019
Realistic scenario: Tony stays, we play 541 against Norwich, Mikel gets injured, we lose 4-0 and deducted 12 points for playing dire football. #boro
Your so right, Hugill is a good Northern league player at best . We’ve flattered to deceive this season , punched above our weight . We’ve nothing to lose in getting rid . At best we’ll benefit from “the dead cat bounce” #UTB— Steve James (@twofootanidol) 16 March 2019
As soon as I seen the team Yusuf , Hugill leading the attack you know the outcome the lad tries hard but he ain’t mobile , awful scoring record at least with Britt and Fletch you get moment and pace shocking tactics today and unfortunately he keeps repeating the same old mistakes— MIDDLESBROUGH PAUL (@RIVERSIDEREDS) 16 March 2019
May be the worst striker I’ve seen at the boro for a long while. Never mind recalling him, release him.— Brad (@bradmawson4702) 17 March 2019
Despite the wishes of some Boro fans, Hugill's loan deal cannot be terminated before its expiry at the end of the campaign.
The 26-year-old is one of four recognised centre-forwards - alongside Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez - whose West Ham contracts run beyond the summer, although the futures of each of those are currently uncertain.
Another striker, Andy Carroll, is expected depart on a free transfer.
Middlesbrough fans - what are your thoughts on Hugill's Teesside spell?
Have something to tell us about this article?