Northern Ireland Under-21 international Caolan Boyd-Munce has joined Middlesbrough from fellow Championship side Birmingham City on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
The 21-year-old made just nine senior appearances during his five years at St Andrew's and this season was unable to break his way into the first team reckoning.
"He’s been playing regularly in Birmingham's Under-23s," Boro boss Chris Wilder told the club website. "We’ve been watching him closely, and we’re delighted the opportunity has arisen for us to sign him."
The Belfast-born midfielder, who made his debut for Glentoran when still only 16, admitted that his move to the Riverside all happened quite quickly.
"It’s been a hectic couple of weeks," declared Boyd-Munce, who has 19 caps at U21 level for Northern Ireland. Just before Christmas there was a hint that Middlesbrough might have been interested as well as a few other clubs.
He told the Boro website: "Coming back (to Birmingham) after Christmas I was told things were going to move quite quickly and to be prepared. So as soon as I knew there was a chance of coming here, my head was on it and that it could actually happen.
"I spoke to Paddy (McNair) when I arrived at the club yesterday. He was talking to me about Middlesbrough, what the changing room is like and how he loves it here; in fact he couldn’t praise the club enough.
"I want to come to the club and learn as the players here are up with the best in the Championship and I want to come and get what I can out of it as a person growing and as a player growing."