Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has claimed that Adam Reach can go on to be a pivotal figure in the team this season.
The midfielder scored his first goal of the campaign as Boro beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 on Saturday.
Karanka has said that the 22-year-old, who came through the ranks at the Riverside Stadium, is improving all the time.
"I know Reachy, his [statistics] last season were good. Maybe he could have scored more goals but he's a player who is 22 years old," Karanka told Gazette Live.
"Last season he played with us for more than 35 games, so that means he's a good player and now he's maturing.
"When you're a good player who is confident and becoming more mature, it's a good thing. It's important for him and for the team."
Reach has made four appearances in all competitions this season.