Lee Bowyer has backed his former player Anfernee Dijksteel to become a success at Middlesbrough.

The defender, 23, signed for Charlton in 2016 before securing a £2 million switch to Championship rivals Boro in August.

But he has struggled to rediscover his form since earning the move and is sidelined for the next three months with a serious knee injury.

Despite the setback, his former boss Bowyer is certain the former Netherlands youth international can become a hit in Teesside.

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He said: “You have to be patient with Anfernee. He doesn't really say much, he's a really quiet lad. I mean he will say ‘hello’ and that's it!

“You don't get nothing out of him, it used to drive me crazy at times, but he's got potential to be a very, very good player. He has all the attributes.

“He will improve. I'm sure Woody [Boro manager Jonathan Woodgate] and Keano [Boro assistant manager Robbie Keane], they'll make him better.

“He's good at what he does, you have to use him the right way and work on his weaknesses. He's got weaknesses, otherwise he wouldn't have cost the money that he did, but he has all the attributes to be a very good player and I believe he will.”

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When asked where he is best suited, whether as a defender or a midfielder, Bowyer felt the wingback role would be “perfect” for Dijksteel.

He added that it is his “final delivery” that lets him down, and that is a key area Boro’s coaching staff will look at improving.

Bowyer said: “It's going to take him a while to adapt. You've got to remember, he's been in London for a long time now and I know what it's like moving up this way. It takes a bit of adjusting.

“He's a nice lad and I'm sure he'll come good for Middlesbrough.”