According to The Mirror (print edition, March 20th, pg. 53), European giants Napoli and Bayern Munich are admirers of new Middlesbrough defender Williams Kokolo.

Kokolo joined Middlesbrough last week having been released from rivals Sunderland. He was told his contract would not be extended and was allowed to sign for the Teessiders on a free transfer.

The left-back is expected to be part of the under-23 set up, but could make his way into the first team with current Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate keen to give younger players a chance this season.

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If he was to come through the academy and graduate up into the first team picture, he would be competing with the likes of Hayden Coulson, Marvin Johnson and club captain George Friend. However, both Johnson and Friend’s contracts are up at the end of the season, and Kokolo could be introduced earlier than anticipated.

Despite only arriving at Middlesbrough this week, the 19-year old has already attracted attention from overseas. Both Napoli and Bayern Munich are reportedly keen on Kokolo, as are Premier League side West Ham United.

It remains to be seen if Kokolo can force his way into Woodgate’s plans, and if the clubs from Naples and Bavaria came calling, the teenager would have a very big decision on his hands.

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He was part of the academy system at AS Monaco, and signed for Sunderland in 2017. He had a brief loan spell at Darlington in the National League North before making the switch to Middlesbrough in March 2020.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook