Burnley have completed the signing of Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough on a four-year deal. The 25-year-old centre half has arrived for a joint club record fee in the region of £15 million.
Product of Middlesbrough's academy
Middlesbrough-born Gibson, the nephew of Boro chairman Steve Gibson, came through Middlesbrough's academy and made his senior debut in the Championship as a substitute against Coventry City in 2011. He had productive loan spells with Plymouth Argyle, York City and Tranmere Rovers between 2011 and 2013. He made 12 appearances as York won promotion to League Two in 2012.
He became an established member of Boro's squad during the 2013-14 season, making 31 appearances as Middlesbrough finished 12th in the Championship.
The following season Gibson was an integral part of Middlesbrough's push for promotion. He made 39 appearances as Boro finished fourth in the Championship, before being beaten 2-0 in the play-off final by Norwich City. He established himself as one of the Championship's best players, as Middlesbrough finished runners-up to Burnley in the 2015-16 season, securing automatic promotion to the Premier League.
England call-up in 2017
Despite Middlesbrough suffering relegation back down to the Championship, Gibson produced some impressive performances in his inaugural season in the top flight.
His form was rewarded with a call up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate, replacing the injured Chris Smalling for England's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in March 2017.
Gibson's excellent performances in the top flight attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs in the 2017 summer transfer window. However, Middlesbrough were determined to keep hold of their prized asset, and convinced him to stay as they aimed to challenge for an immediate return to the Premier League last season.
After an underwhelming start to the season Gary Monk was replaced with Tony Pulis in December. An upturn in form towards the end of the season allowed Boro to finish in the playoffs, where they were beaten in the semi-finals by Aston Villa.
Burnley get their man
It seemed inevitable that Gibson would leave Middlesbrough this summer after they failed to achieve promotion. A deal to Southampton was reportedly close early on in the window, but failed to materialise.
Burnley have been actively looking to add to their options at centre half throughout the summer. The Clarets had two bids for Gibson rejected, before finally securing the services of the talented defender.
The signing could be the first of a busy last few days of the transfer window for Burnley, as Sean Dyche looks to add to his squad ahead of the start of the Premier League season.