BEN Gibson looks set to remain with Middlesbrough heading into the new season despite several loan enquiries.
The 20-year-old has figured heavily for Tony Mowbray’s men during the summer schedule and could again be involved at Rotherham United this evening (kick-off 7.30pm).
Gibson – nephew of Boro chairman, Steve - spent the majority of last season on loan at Tranmere Rovers in League One.
The talented defender, who can operate at centre-back or left-back, has again been the subject of interest from elsewhere during the close-season, but Mowbray insists Gibson is going nowhere.
“At this moment, while we are very short of defensive cover, Ben Gibson has played just about every minute of the three games we’ve played without conceding,” said the Boro chief.
“He’s shown that the loan period to Tranmere has done him the world of good.
“He’s matured in front of our eyes, and at this moment he will be staying in.
“Lots of people phone me about Ben because they can see his talent as well.
“We can also see it and he will play a part this year.”
Gibson started at full-back during Saturday’s goalless draw with Hartlepool United.
He has made just two Championship appearances for the Teessiders but that tally will almost certainly be added to when the season kicks off early next month.
And Mowbray added: “Whether he starts football matches or whether he’s around the squad, in his progression he needs to understand what it means to be a Middlesbrough footballer.
“Young players go away and learn some lessons at other football clubs, but there comes a time where they have to understand what it’s about at their own club.
“I think Ben is at that stage, even though he will want to play every minute of every game.
“If he doesn’t, he’ll be kept to stay around the group.”