NATHAN Wood has left boyhood club Middlesbrough to complete a permanent move to fellow Championship side Swansea City for an undisclosed fee.

The centre-half, who holds the record as the club’s youngest player to ever make his debut at 16 years and 75 days, has put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with an option for a further year.

The 20-year-old becomes the first senior player of the summer to depart Boro in what will be seen to many as a surprising move by the club. Wood had been earmarked as a player with the potential to become a regular in defence at the club and reportedly was attracting interest from Premier League clubs during his teenage years.

However, after just 14 appearances in all competitions in four years in the first-team, Boro have sanctioned the move citing a ‘pursuit of regular first team football’.

Wood, and England Under-20 international, made his debut at the age of 16 in a 3-3 draw with Notts County in the EFL Cup. His Championship debut would come the following season when he came on as a first half substitute during a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City in January 20202.

His most memorable moment in a Boro shirt came during a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest when the defender celebrated wildly after keeping a clean sheet at the Riverside Stadium. He then made a loan move to Crewe Alexandra for the second half of the season and became a first-team regular making 11 starts helping them to a mid-table finish in League One.

This season was Wood’s most frustrating during his career. After an unsuccessful loan move to Scottish Premier League side Hibernian making just two appearances, he moved back to Boro in January cutting the loan deal short. However, game time was hard to come by under Chris Wilder as he made just one appearance in their 3-2 win over Mansfield in the FA Cup.