Aitor Karanka has heaped praise on the 'outstanding' Dael Fry after his performance against Leeds on Monday, but is urging for patience with the youngster.
The 19-year-old made just his third appearance for Boro's first team at Elland Road, after starting on the opening day against Preston North End and coming on as a substitute against Oldham in the Capital One Cup.
Fry partnered Ben Gibson in the heart of defence in Dani Ayala's absence against Steve Evans' side and earned the plaudits for a flawless display in which Boro kept a first clean sheet in four games.
"Dael was outstanding against Leeds," said Karanka. "He's a kid that I trust a lot.
"He looked like a 25-year-old against a really good team in Leeds, under a lot of pressure and in a difficult stadium. I'm really pleased for him."
With the defender making the step up from Academy football almost effortlessly in his appearances for the first team, Karanka says Fry is now another player he must keep in mind.
"He's another player that I have to consider," said the Head Coach.
"I've picked him in the past and he showed everyone he's a good player.
"We have to keep working with him because he has everything, but we have to be patient."