MIDDLESBROUGH have kicked off their January transfer business with the loan signing of Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts.

As revealed in The Northern Echo earlier this week, Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate has spent the last few days discussing Roberts’ position with the Manchester City hierarchy.

The 22-year-old has spent the first half of the season on loan at Norwich City, but his parent club had grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of game time with the Canaries.

Roberts has not made a single Premier League start this term, so City officials opted to cut short his spell at Carrow Road and send him to a Championship club instead in order to increase the likelihood of him playing regular first-team football in the second half of the campaign.

A number of teams expressed an interest, but Woodgate was always hopeful of being able to complete a deal and Roberts has moved to the Riverside for the rest of the season.

“It’s great Patrick has signed up for the club,” said Woodgate. “He’s an exciting player, he wants to play games and he has the bit between his teeth.

“He fits the mould of what we’re looking at. He’s young and hungry, and wants to do well. I’m absolutely delighted to have a player of Patrick’s calibre at this football club.”

Roberts started his career with Fulham, and joined Manchester City for £12m in the summer of 2015. He has only made one senior appearance for Pep Guardiola’s side, but established a reputation as an extremely highly-rated prospect during three successful loan spells at Celtic.

He claimed three SPL titles during his time at Parkhead, scoring 18 goals in 79 appearances, and has also spent time at Spanish club Girona.

An England Under-20 international, Roberts’ arrival will increase Boro’s attacking options in the wide positions.

The Kingston-on-Thames-born youngster, who completed the formalities of his switch yesterday afternoon, can play on either flank, and has also been used as a wide forward in a three-pronged attacking formation.