Britt Assombalonga was Middlesbrough’s matchwinner on Saturday, coming off the bench to score twice in a 3-2 victory at West Brom.

That took the 26-year-old’s tally for the season to 11 goals, despite having largely been restricted to substitute appearances.

Assombalonga was linked with a possible move to Ewood Park before the January deadline closed at 11pm last week.

The striker was looked at as a possible alternative to Southampton striker Sam Gallagher, Tony Mowbray’s number one striking target, but the wage demands involved proved to be out of Rovers’ reach.

Addressing the speculation surrounding Assombalonga, who was also linked with a move to Bristol City, at today’s press conference, Boro boss Tony Pulis said: "He’s still here isn’t he?

“Every player is uncertain, that’s the worst thing about these windows. The window is good for television and everything else, they’re used for three or four weeks and people talk about these windows.

“It’s what everybody wants to discuss, so everybody gets tied. You get a phone call from an agent saying somebody wants you, but a lot of them are phoney phone calls just trying to get players on board to that agency.

“They promise them this, that and the other – you just don’t know what goes on.”

Assombalonga has started 15 of Boro’s 29 Championship games so far, coming off the bench in a further 10, including against Rovers at the Riverside in December where he scored a superb equaliser.  

And with the window now closed, Pulis told the Gazette: “We’ve had a chat about things. Everybody is different, and hopefully with the window having closed now, everybody can settle down and concentrate on the one thing, and that is to do the best they possibly can for this team. That’s not just Britt, it’s everybody."

The striker was a £15m signing for Middlesbrough in the summer of 2017 when joining from Nottingham Forest.

He has fallen behind West Ham loanee Jordan Hugill as Pulis’ preferred choice up front, but he showed his qualities when scoring twice off the bench at the Hawthorns.

“I think you start with him every week if he plays at that level; that's what we want," said Pulis.

“There's no 'I've got a favourite here or there', I can’t think of any managers that do that. It's just getting the best out of players in respect of the team.

“Britt's two goals were fantastic, I'm really pleased. The goal against Birmingham when he came off the bench as well was a great goal.

“He doesn't want to be looked on as an impact player who will come on when the game is more stretched and players have run out of a little bit of steam.

“The boy wants to play and wants to start, to do that he has to be up to speed from the start.”