MIDDLESBROUGH have allowed Luke Williams to sign for Scunthorpe United on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old has signed a three-year deal at Glanford Park after the Iron boss Mark Robins persuaded him the time was right to leave the Riverside.

Williams scored twice in six appearances for Scunthorpe during a loan last season and he has struggled to force his way in to Aitor Karanka’s plans on Teesside. He previously interested Hartlepool.

The skilful forward was always tipped to have a bright future at Middlesbrough after Gordon Strachan handed him his first team debut at the age of just 16 in 2009. He leaves, though, after 42 appearances for the club, five of which came under Karanka last season.

"It's brilliant to have signed. I couldn't be happier," Williams told the Scunthorpe Telegraph. "I came in on Wednesday and undertook my medical and saw all the familiar  faces from when I was here before. Everyone is raring to get going.

"Knowing the club and a lot of the personnel before did help sway the move. I knew what a good group it was and it's a club that's going places. Hopefully I can add to that.

"There are a lot of new faces around the place  and people that are only going to help our cause and the push for promotion. I want to carry on where I left off in my last spell here. I really enjoyed myself and managed score  and create a few goals as well."

Williams’ departure frees up more funds on the wage bill following the departures of Seb Hines, Dean Whitehead and Emmanuel Ledesma.

Defender Jonathan Woodgate has also officially become a free agent and a decision on his future is expected soon with the squad due for pre-season training on Monday.