Hartlepool United have signed Middlesbrough youngster Tyrone O'Neill on loan to boost their attacking options.
The 19-year-old has joined Pools on a deal which will see him remain at The Super 6 Stadium until the end of 2018.
O’Neill played the full 90 minutes for Middlesbrough’s Under-21s side on Wednesday night as they won 1-0 at Burton Albion in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Grangetown-born forward has regularly featured for Boro's Under-23s, impressing Bates when he watched him on a scouting mission, while also starting all three games for the Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
“We went to watch Middlesbrough on Sunday and Tyrone stood out,” said Bates.
“He’s still only young but I am sure he’s a player who the fans will enjoy watching because he’s whole-hearted, works very hard and he will offer something different to what we’ve got.”
The teenager has been given permission to play in the FA Cup and will go straight in to contention for tomorrow's First Round tie at Gillingham.
O'Neill will provide an extra option for Bates with the National League side currently sitting ninth in the table just outside the play-off places.
He is the second signing of the week for Pools after they added defender James Butler on loan from Championship side Stoke City on Wednesday.