Woodgate explains why Middlesbrough couldn't sign £7.5m Reading star George Puscas

Jonathan Woodgate assistant coach of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on May 8, 2017 in London, England.

George Puscas has made a fine start to life in the Championship with Reading but could he have been Boro's missing link?

George Puscas of Reading celebrates after their teams scores their first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Reading at The Hawthorns on August 21,...

Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has admitted to Teesside Live that he was interested in bringing George Puscas to the Riverside before the Romanian goal machine sealed a £7.5 million move to Championship rivals Reading instead.

It is fair to say the Royals are not the only team who were wowed by Puscas’s barnstorming displays during the U21 European Championships in Italy this summer.

The former Inter Milan youngster scored four times as an unfancied Romania outfit reached the semi-finals, with a clinical brace coming in the thrilling 4-2 defeat to Germany in the last four. With pace, power, the leap of a salmon and lethal finishing, no wonder Andy Hinchcliffe called Puscas a young Alan Shearer on Sky Sports.

 

Puscas has hit the ground running at Reading with two poacher’s finishes in a 3-0 thrashing of Cardiff City but it all could have been different if Middlesbrough had £7.5 million going spare.

“I actually saw Puscas in the summer watching the Under-21s in Italy in the Euros. I went to the game, England versus Romania, I was watching a few players from Romania,” Woodgate said ahead of Saturday’s clash between Boro and Reading.

“I saw Puscas straight away, he was on loan last year at Palermo from Inter Milan, (he's) a really top player.”

George Puscas of Romania celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the 2019 UEFA U-21 Group C match between England and Romania at Dino Manuzzi Stadium on June 21, 2019 in Cesena,...

“To bring him here we'd have had to spend a lot of money. We couldn't do that type of deal. Reading have done it, fair play - he's a very very good player.”

Woodgate was given the reigns after the departure of Tony Pulis over the summer in the hope that the former England centre-back could introduce a more attacking, exciting style of football at the Riverside.

But just seven goals in six league games show that there’s still work to be done – signing Puscas certainly would have helped.

George Puscas of Reading reacts after missing a shot during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Cardiff City at Madejski Stadium on August 18, 2019 in Reading, England.

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