Graham signs Boro deal
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Middlesbrough have handed teenage striker Danny Graham a two-year contract.
Graham has impressed many observers with his displays for the club's second string and he has made the step up into the first-team squad this term.
The forward has yet to make a start in The Premiership, but he made himself an instant Riverside hero when climbing off the bench to net Boro's equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Charlton at the end of last month.
The 19-year-old's previous deal was due to expire in the summer, but Boro boss Steve McClaren has handed the former window fitter the added security of a two-year contract.
McClaren feels Graham is deserving of his contract and is looking for the teenager to step up and challenge for a regular place in the team.
"Danny deserves this new deal as he has worked so hard for everything he has achieved so far," McClaren told the club's website. "He may not be the prettiest player to watch but he is a natural goalscorer, who has that rare knack of being in the right place.
"He has done a lot of catching up since joining the club two years ago and has fully merited his first team breakthrough this season.
"Now he needs to continue working hard to put real pressure on our first choice strikers for a regular starting place."
Teenage defender Andrew Taylor has followed the lead of Graham and pledged his future to Boro by signing a new deal.
The defender had been plagued by an ankle injury at the start of the season, but his return to fitness has seen McClaren reward him with a new deal.