Former Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore has committed his future to Middlesbrough despite interest from Premier League clubs.
The former England U21 international has taken well to life on Teeside, scoring five goals in eight appearances to earn himself a significant extension on his initial short-term contract.
His impressive displays have not gone unnoticed – Watmore’s performances have been acknowledged by being named December’s Championship Player of the Month. He beat out Brentford’s Sergi Canos, Derby’s Krystian Bielik and Norwich City midfielder Emiliano Buendia in doing so.
Watmore had previously suffered a career-threatening anterior cruciate knee ligament injury whilst playing for Sunderland in December 2016. It has by Watmore’s own admission, taken him over three years to fully recover from his injury.
He told the Ornstein and Chapman Podcast: “It’s been a very bad three years for me.
“But since the first time that I did my knee, which was about three and a bit years ago now, I feel as fit as I have since then.
Watmore’s father, Ian, has praised Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock for giving his son a chance to get his career back on track.
Ian posted on his Twitter account: “He’s worked so hard to come back from his injuries for this contract, but massive credit to Neil Warnock to give him his chance and inspire him to succeed on the pitch. He loves the Club already, knows several players well from before, so “footballistically” it was a no-brainer.”
Boro manager Warnock never had any fears he would sign for any potential Premier League suitors over The Boro.
“We’re delighted to get him on board. I don’t think it was ever in doubt that he would sign with us because he has loved every minute of it here so far,” he said.
“He gets on with the players and the staff, and he is really enjoying himself.
“He’s a real good lad. We’re looking forward to having him here on a longer-term basis now and hopefully seeing him score.”