Middlesbrough have completed the signing of highly-rated 19-year-old Williams Kokolo from Sunderland, with the defender expected to join the club’s academy set-up.
Kokolo, who has signed a two-year-deal with Boro, will join the club’s academy ranks at Rockcliffe following his surprise move from their near-neighbours.
Initially a left-back who can also operate as a wide midfielder, Kokolo came through the ranks with French outfit AS Monaco, before moving to the Black Cats in 2017.
Kokolo enjoyed a brief loan spell with National League North side Darlington during the 2018-19 season, making his debut against Chorley – starting three games and making six substitute appearances.
The defender will be hoping to impress manager Jonathan Woodgate, with the former Middlesbrough defender handing out seven first-team debuts to academy stars so far this season.
Middlesbrough’s Under 23s are fifth in Premier League 2, 25 points ahead of bottom-placed Sunderland, who only have one point from their 18 league outings so far this campaign.
The first team will be hoping to extend the two-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone on Saturday as they host Swansea City at the Riverside Stadium, with Steve Cooper’s side hoping to complete the double over Woodgate’s side following a comfortable 3-1 win at the Liberty Stadium back in December.