Duncan Watmore has signed a two-and-a-half year contract extension with Middlesbrough, keeping him at the Riverside until the summer of 2023.

The 26-year-old ex-Sunderland man was struggling to get in the Black Cats first-team last season.

Injuries had soured his spell at boyhood club Sunderland – in the past three seasons he’d made 34 league appearances for the Black Cats, scoring twice.

He left Sunderland in a dark place, but Neil Warnock would give him a shot at revival with Middlesbrough.

Since, the winger has scored five goals in eight Championship outings for Boro. His shock form has excited everyone at the club and looks to be another shrewd piece of business from their veteran gaffer.

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Watmore only signed on a short-term deal which was set to run out this month.

Given his form though, Warnock was left with no choice but to extend his stay, with the likes of West Brom and Burnley having sniffed around Watmore of late.

Wamore was in-demand this time last week, and North Eastern Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie claims that Watmore has rejected several ‘lucrative offers’ to remain at the Riverside:

It’d have been a monumental rise for Watmore to go from Sunderland release, to Middlesbrough star, to Premier League signing within a season.

But he remains at Middlesbrough – the club that’s shown a glimmer of hope in the midfielder, after some worsening years at neighbouring Sunderland.

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Boro have this season emerged as top-six contenders under Warnock.

After guiding them to safety last time round, he’s since made promotion hopefuls out of Boro in what’d be his fourth from the second-tier.

Up next for them is a trip to Brentford in the FA Cup, before the visit of Birmingham City sees league duties resume.