LIAM ROBERTS became Middlesbrough's first signing of the summer when he joined as a free agent earlier today.

But who is the 27-year-old, who has signed a two-year deal at the Riverside?

* Roberts was born in Walsall and joined his hometown club as a youngster.

* He was actually released from Walsall for a brief period in 2014, but returned as cover when the club's senior goalkeepers suffered an injuries. He was offered a new contract with the Saddlers shortly after, and had loan spells with non-league sides Rushall Olympic, Rainworth Miners Welfare, Southport and Gresley.

* He made his senior Walsall debut in a 3-0 defeat to Millwall in February 2016, and became the club's first-choice keeper in the 2017-18 season. He made 149 appearances for his boyhood club before leaving to join Northampton in the summer of 2021.

* He made 49 appearances in his one season with Northampton, and finished last season as the club's Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year. He kept 21 clean sheets in the 2021-22 season - more than any other League Two player - and was named in the PFA's League Two Team of the Season.

* Northampton were keen to keep him at Sixfields, but he turned down the offer of a new deal with the Cobblers in order to join Boro.

"Liam was good for us and we were good for Liam," said Northampton boss Jon Brady. "We identified Liam when he was available last summer as part of our thorough recruitment process and not only did he do very well for us, we worked with Liam to not just help and improve his overall game but to get his career moving in an upward direction again.

"We were keen to try and keep hold of Liam and we made several good contract offers but in the end the chance to move to the Championship and a club like Middlesbrough was an excellent opportunity for him and I think everyone understands that.

"We thank Liam for his efforts and wish him well for the future. This was not unexpected and we are progressing our work to recruit a goalkeeper."