Brighton striker Aaron Connolly is the club’s first signing of the January transfer window, joining on loan until the end of the season.

“He gives us pace, can finish at the top of the pitch and gives us competition for the players around him.”

Chris Wilder

The 21-year-old Republic of Ireland international has completed the formalities of his move to Teesside, despite strong interest from elsewhere, and Boro boss Chris Wilder says he will offer increased competition within his squad.

The Boro manager said: “I’m delighted. It’s an area of the pitch we need to improve in terms of competition for places.

“He’s a young player, he’s played in the Premier League a number of times, and he’s from a technical football club. He’s also played for his country.

“He gives us pace, can finish at the top of the pitch and gives us competition for the players around him.”

The youngster has already clocked up over 50 appearances for Brighton and, after scoring twice against Tottenham on his Premier League debut in 2019, he has netted eight goals for the Seagulls.

Connolly, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at all levels from Under-17 and has eight senior caps, has scored twice this season and his most recent top flight appearance was in December against Wolves at the Amex.