Middlesbrough veteran Stewart Downing has seen many players pass through the doors at the Riverside Stadium over the years.
The latest young player to be brought into the first team fold is Dael Fry, and the former Liverpool winger is backing his much younger teammate to play at the highest level.
However, he thinks that he may have to be patient to establish himself in the starting eleven with manager Tony Pulis having utilised the 21-year-old in a number of positions this campaign:
“Dael will be a top, top player. When you’re younger it is hard to break into a team, especially with the lads we have at centre-half at this club.”
“You might be moved around a bit and played at right-back like he has. He can also play in the three at the back and playing in different positions can only add to his game.”
“You never know when or where he might be needed but whatever is asked, and he just slots in. He’s a really good footballer.”
Fry has struck up a partnership with Downing on the right-hand side in the last couple of games against Stoke and Wigan.
Boro have switched to a back four, meaning the youngster has moved from his natural position as a right-sided centre-half to a more unfamiliar role at right-back.
So far, the positional switch has gone smoothly for Fry with Middlesbrough having kept two clean sheets in both matches. The defender will be hoping to continue his good form against Brentford on Saturday week.