Middlesbrough goalkeeper Connor Ripley has joined Burton Albion on loan until the end of the season after signing a new deal with his parent club.
The 24-year-old, son of former Boro winger Stuart Ripley, would have been out of contract next summer and the club have moved to secure his services for another two years, keeping him at the Riverside Stadium until July 2019.
The former England under 20 international did not make the squad for the weekend's opening Championship game of the season at Wolverhampton Wanderers, with summer signing from West Ham United Darren Randolph starting in goal and Dimitrios Konstantopoulos on the bench.
Ripley has spent the last four seasons out on loan to Oxford United, Bradford City, Swedish side Ostersund, Motherwell and Oldham Athletic - with Boro eager for him to gain some Championship experience.
The stopper impressed at Oldham, equalling the club’s all-time clean sheet record with 18 shutouts, and was named both player of the season and young player of the season during his time with the Latics.
Ripley also made an impressive 175 saves in League One last term.
It's clear that the Brewers have got quite the player on their hands after they secured his signature on Monday afternoon - and he could face an early reunion with Oldham on Wednesday night as the Brewers travel to Boundary Park in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
That now leaves Albion well-stocked in the goalkeeping department, with Stephen Bywater and Ripley set to battle it out for the number one spot with Harry Campbell for back-up.
Ripley will face stiff competition from Bywater, who made an incredible reactions save from Sol Bamba's back-post header to deny Cardiff an opening goal in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to the Bluebirds.
Bywater deputised for Jon McLaughlin last term, but was called into action for the remaining three games of the season and began the season as the Brewers’ starting ‘keeper following McLaughlin’s surprise release in May.
A number of clubs reportedly expressed an interest in taking Ripley on loan this term, but Burton have moved to agree a deal with Middlesbrough for the shot-stopper.
Brewers boss Nigel Clough said he was pleased that he's signed a 'keeper with experience.
Connor gained good experience last year in League One," said Clough.
"He’s 24, not an 18/19-year-old, and we think he will complement the other two keepers we have got. He will fight for the No 1 place with Stephen Bywater.
"There are no guarantees, he knows that, but he wants to play Championship football.
"The good thing is that when he’s gone out on loan he’s played games.
"We needed a goalkeeper in and we didn’t want to take one who hadn’t got first team experience.
"Some young goalkeepers don’t go out on loan and stay at their clubs but although Connor hasn’t played in the Championship he’s got plenty of experience in League One and the Scottish Premiership so he should be able to cope with it - so we are delighted he’s joining us for the season."
"It’s another step in my career that I’m happy to make," said Ripley.
"I’m not here to make the numbers up, I’m here to play games – that’s the sole reason of the loan deal and I want to play as many games as possible.
"They have two very good, highly-rated goalkeepers here and at the end of the day I’m here to fight for my position and do what I can to play the games.
"Ultimately, the manager picks the team, all I can do is train hard and play hard as well."