Highly-rated Middlesbrough striker joins MK Dons on loan deal amid Sunderland interest

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Getty Images.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Getty Images.

Highly-rated Middlesbrough striker Stephen Walker has joined League Two side MK Dons on loan for the rest of the season.

Walker, 18, signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at the Riverside on Wednesday and has now been sent out on loan to further his development.

Dons manager Paul Tisdale said: "We've spoken in depth with Middlesbrough and we're more than happy to take him on loan and they're happy for him to continue his development with us.

"He comes into a team where we're looking for more options and drive in our front line and we think Stephen will do that.

"I think he will be a really exciting addition to our season. I know he has a good future at Middlesbrough, he's played at England U19 level and for the next few months, he'll be here at Stadium MK."

Boro moved swiftly to tie Walker down to a new long-term deal amid interest in the striker, with North East neighbours Sunderland among those keeping tabs on his progress at the Riverside.

The England youth international made his first team debut for his hometown club in the Carabao Cup victory over Notts County, and also came off the bench in the 5-0 win against Peterborough United in the Emirates FA Cup.

The Teessider has often impressed with Boro's Academy sides, recently hitting a hat-trick in the club's U18 Premier League Cup quarter final victory over Everton.

A regular England youth international, Walker has represented the Young Lions at U17, U18 and U19 level and he scored another hat-trick for the U19s against Macedonia last October.

Meanwhile, Boro striker George Miller has completed a permanent transfer to Barnsley.

Miller was on a season-long loan with Bradford City, and his transfer is the subject of a three-way agreement that sees him join Barnsley on a permanent basis but remain on loan from the Oakwell club to the Bantams for the remainder of the campaign.

The striker, 20, joined Boro from Bury in the summer of 2017.

Miller made one senior appearance with Boro, as a late sub in the Carabao Cup victory over Aston Villa back in 2017.

And Boro have also confirmed that left-back Hayden Coulson has joined Cambridge United on loan until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old has been with Boro’s Academy since the age of 13 and he was part of the double-winning U18 squad in 2014/15.

Central defender Sam Stubbs, 20, has joined Notts County on loan until the end of the season.