Lukas Jutkiewicz with Tony Mowbray - Photo by Graham Bell

The 22-year-old striker - who made his debut as a second half substitute against Burnley following an emergency loan deal on Saturday morning - joins the club permanently from Coventry City for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Jutkiewicz, who has scored nine goals for the Sky Blues this season, is delighted to be part of Tony Mowbray's promotion challenge.

"There was a possibility I might have come a few months ago and I would have loved to," he said. "Now I'm here I can't wait to get started properly.

"It was important to feel wanted here and the fact that there was interest in August and they've come in again now shows that and was a massive part of the decision.

"It's a huge club and one that hopefully is going places. I want to be at the top of the league and so does the club.

"In its recent history Middlesbrough have been in the Premier League and that's where I want to end up myself. Hopefully I can help out in any way I can."

Manager Tony Mowbray says Jutkiewicz is not yet the finished article, but he believes he has all the raw ingredients to be a top player.

"He brings qualities our team are looking for," he said. "He adds physicality, but he's also a technical footballer who can get hold of the ball and brings others into the game and has bravery and a desire to score goals when the ball comes into the box.
 
"What attracted me was his honesty and bravery, as well as his goals. They're all qualities I like in a footballer.

"I hope he sees this as a place he can develop as a footballer."

The signing ends a long chase for Mowbray, who made Jutkiewicz his humber one transfer target back in the summer but was unable to push a deal through ahead of the August 13 transfer deadline. 

"We're all delighted to have signed him," he said. "We had some initial discussions with his club in the last window and we've been watching closely since then and seen nothing to change our minds as he's scored goals in a team that has generally struggled for goals this season.

"I tried to stress to the chairman that while our team has had relative success so far this season, we did lack a physical presence to go with the hard work. He's going to come and continue to learn the game.

"I hope we can match his ambition to play in the Premier League and hopefully we can achieve that together."

Southampton-born Jutkiewicz was with his hometown club as a schoolboy but began his first team career with Swindon Town, where his goals helped win promotion to League One in 2007.

His form alerted the attention of Premier League scouts and let to a £1m move to Everton that summer, when he was still a teenager.

He enjoyed a brief loan with Plymouth Argyle before making his only Everton appearance as a substitute in a 3-0 victory over Sunderland in December 2008. Further loan spells followed with Huddersfield and Motherwell, where he netted 12 goals in 27 starts.

Jutkiewicz joined Coventry for an undisclosed fee in July 2010, signing a three-year contract. Nine league goals in 34 starts and eight sub appearances followed in his first season for the Sky Blues and he has already matched that tally in just 25 games so far this season - including a late leveller in the 1-1 draw between the sides at the Riverside.

In addition to being eligible to represent England, Jutkiewicz also qualifies to play for Poland through his Polish grandfather.