Middlesbrough youngster Fry pens long-term contract extension
Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry has gone on loan to Rotherham United | Photo: Gazette

Middlesbrough youngster Fry pens long-term contract extension

The teenage defender has committed his future to his boyhood club, before signing for Rotherham United on a season-long loan

Sam France

Middlesbrough's young defensive prospect Dael Fry has committed his future to the club by signing a new five-year deal on Teesside, before joining Rotherham United on loan for the season.

Fry, an England youth regular at U19 level, made his debut on the opening day of last season against Preston North End. Thrown in at the deep end at the age of 17 against a recently promoted side, he put in a Man of the Match performance in a goalless draw.

He went on to make eight impressive appearances for Boro last season but, with his parent club now in the Premier League, has been sent back down to the Championship to gain valuable experience.

Senior stars lead the way for Fry

The Middlesbrough-born centre-back, 19, is the fifth senior player to sign a new deal at the Riverside this summer.

Ben GibsonDani Ayala, George Friend and Adam Forshaw have all penned new contracts, while wantaway winger Albert Adomah was shown the exit door after failing to agree a new deal.

Defensive pair Ben Gibson and Dani Ayala have already signed new Middlesbrough contracts | Photo: Mark Leech/Getty
Defenders Ben Gibson and Dani Ayala have already signed new Middlesbrough contracts | Photo: Mark Leech/Getty

Fry will hope to follow in the footsteps of Gibson in particular, with his fellow academy graduate now a first-team fixture, captain-in-waiting and knocking on the door of a senior England call-up.

Gibson, now 23, spent time out on loan around the Football League with Plymouth Argyle, York City and Tranmere Rovers in his formative years before becoming a Boro regular under Tony Mowbray and Aitor Karanka in the 2013/14 season.

Fry arrives with Rotherham in disarray

While Gibson's loan moves were further down the footballing ladder in League One and League Two, Fry has a difficult task ahead of him at Rotherham and will doubtless have to get to grips with a steel learning curve.

Five games into the Championship season, the Millers are living up to their billing as relegation favourites, third from bottom with the joint-highest number of goals conceded.

Fry will arrive hoping to help improve a defence which has already conceded three goals against Brighton and Aston Villa, four against Barnsley and five against League Two side Morecambe in a humbling EFL Cup defeat.