Swindon Town have already delivered transfer verdict on Middlesbrough new boy Harley Hunt

Middlesbrough have signed defender Harley Hunt from Swindon Town
-Credit: (Image: Middlesbrough FC)

Swindon Town's academy boss Alex Pike spoke of the genuine pride at the League Two club as 16-year-old academy defender Harley Hunt completed a move to Middlesbrough.

Not able to be contracted until he turns 17, Boro agreed a compensation package with the Robins and have added the prospect to their academy. They beat considerable Premier League interest to land the centre-back, with Manchester City one of the sides understood to have shown an interest.

Having impressed during Swindon's FA Youth Cup run last term, Hunt stepped up to their first team last season and made three appearances in the fourth tier at the end of the last season. He now moves to Teesside hoping to continue his growth in Boro's esteemed academy at Rockliffe.

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Speaking after the move was confirmed, Swindon academy manager Alex Pike said: "Harley has shown huge development in his time with us, especially in the last season as a scholar and he moves on with the club's best wishes and genuine pride in the person he has become with us, and the player he has the potential to become in future if he continues to works hard to make himself better every day. Everyone at Swindon Town Academy is proud of his growth and we wish him good luck with his next steps."

Hunt made rapid progress at Swindon last term - his first on scholarship terms at the club. Standing at 6ft 3in and said to be really comfortable on the ball, his under-18 boss expressed his delight after he made his first-team debut towards the end of last term.

Sean Wood said: "Fair play to him, he looks massive out there, doesn’t he? He doesn’t look out of place at all. It is brilliant to see, he is a great kid who wants to learn, but he still does have loads to learn. He knows what he needs to improve on and we will continue to do that next year with whatever environment he is in and what staff he is working under. He has got the right character and determination to kick on now, so that will hold him in good stead.”