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While the friendly was underway against Espanyol, Burnley confirmed the signing of Middlesbrough central defender Ben Gibson for what is described as a join record fee, matching the £15 million we paid Leeds almost a year ago for Chris Wood.

1819 burnley ben gibson signs 1 500x500Although he’s enjoyed loans with Tranmere, York and Plymouth, Gibson has been very much the one club man having come through the Middlesbrough academy, the club owned by his uncle. Since making his Middlesbrough debut as a substitute in a 2-1 win against Coventry in 2011, he’s gone on to play 185 league games for them and that includes a full set of 38 games in the Premier League in the 2016/17 season after they’d won promotion as runners up to Burnley.

That season he won a first England call up but didn’t feature in any games and still awaits a first full cap to add to the ten he won at under-21 level.

He’s a first signing of the summer for Burnley and he can’t wait to get started. “I’m absolutely delighted,” he said. “It’s a big step for me. I’ve played for Middlesbrough for 15 years since I was a boy so it’s a huge step and one I’m really, really excited about.

“I’ve been to the training ground and met a few of the boys and the place seems like it’s certainly a club that’s on the up and certainly a club to be excited about playing for. There’s a good feel about the place. Burnley is a club that recently has had some fantastic success and I’ve had some great battles against them myself and I’m looking forward to wearing their colours.

“Now it’s done and dusted I just want to get cracked on and fight to win my place in the team and get to know the boys and be very much part of what’s happening. This move and this club has given me the opportunity to ply my trade at the highest level and hopefully in the Europa League, so it’s fantastic opportunity for me and my family. We are very proud to be here and I just can’t wait to get started.”

He added: “The measure of a fantastic team is not to do something once, but to repeat that time and time again. I know that’s what Sir Alex Ferguson said about Manchester United. Sean Dyche and the team and everyone here did such a fantastic job last year in finishing seventh and qualifying for the Europa League. Let’s hope this is a real, real good chapter in Burnley’s history and this is just the start of things to come.”

Gibson has been allocated the squad number 14 which was last worn by David Jones prior to his move to Sheffield Wednesday.

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