Sunderland-linked Middlesbrough striker Stephen Walker signs new contract
Exciting Middlesbrough prospect Stephen Walker has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract.
Boro have 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.
And the youth product is now looking to kick-on and do "big things" at Boro.
Boro fan Walker, who only turned 18 in October, made his first team debut earlier this season, providing an assist for Ashley Fletcher in the Carabao Cup victory over Notts County.
He has since featured in the 5-0 victory over Peterborough United in the FA Cup.
Tony Pulis and the Boro hierarchy were keen to secure him on a long-term deal and his new contract runs until the summer of 2023.
A delighted Walker said: "I'm delighted. I can't wait to kick on now at Boro.
"Hopefully I can do big things. Hopefully we can get back in the Premier League where we belong.
"Coming from Middlesbrough, it was an easy decision to make. This is where I want to be and where I want to play football.
"Since I was seven years old, turning up to training at Whinney Banks in a Middlesbrough kit. It was a dream then and it feels like I'm still dreaming now.
"My family is so proud of me and I can't wait to kick on and really go."
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.