Middlesbrough have sanctioned the exit of left-back Williams Kokolo on a permanent deal, with the youngster joining League One side Burton Albion.
Middlesbrough triumphed 3-2 over Mansfield in the FA Cup at the weekend with Kokolo starting the game at left wing-back. Just three days later he has departed the club.
There are plenty of players ahead of him in his position already at the club, with the likes of Marc Bola, Neil Taylor and Lee Peltier all having played there this season under Chris Wilder.
The 21-year-old spent the 2018-19 campaign out on loan at Darlington and has been plying his trade for Boro’s academy since his return.
But he is at a stage in his career where he needs regular playing time and the Teessiders have allowed him to depart for Burton permanently this week.
Speaking to the Brewers’ official website, Kokolo revealed the main reason as to why he wanted to sign for his new club.
“I hope I can help the club to go forward, I’m happy and it’s very important for me to come here and get game time,” he said.
“It came about very quickly – I got a call from Jimmy [Floyd Hasselbaink, Burton manager] and speaking to him was a big reason for me joining here.”
Hasselbaink claimed that Kokolo is a longer-term player, suggesting that he may not go straight into the first-team fold.
“He’s coming to play for the left-back or left-wing-back position, where we feel we needed a bit more pace and competition,” said the Burton boss.
“We see him as one for our future and he comes with good credentials.”
Regardless, he will be hoping to feature this weekend and look to make his debut for his new side when Burton take on Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.
He will be in direct competition with the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Frazer Blake-Tracy, whereas Thomas O’Connor can also play in that position when needed.
The report from either club does not specify a transfer fee or the length of contract.