Aitor Karanka believes new Middlesbrough loan signing Tomas Kalas will be a hit at the Riverside Stadium.
Chelsea’s 20-year-old Czech Republic international is set for a home debut against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
The right-back who will spend the rest of the season on Teesside caught Karanka’s eye during Saturday’s goalless draw at Reading.
Karanka said: “Tomas was very good. It’s difficult for a player who is not playing to come into a new team, but it wasn’t a surprise for me.
“I know him and I know what kind of player he is. He played last season in an amazing game for Chelsea against Liverpool at Anfield.
“I’ve known him a long time, so it’s no surprise. He’s with us and from now he will improve.
“He has showed that he is a good player even after just one game. He is young but he is experienced.
“He played 90 minutes for us and he could have been completely dead, but he played a full game.
“I’ve got another week to work with him and he will improve.”
The arrival of Kalas has bolstered what was already the meanest defence in the Championship.
Fourth-placed Boro have conceded just 17 goals in their 25 league games to date.
The next lowest figure is Sheffield Wednesday’s 21, while it’s 23 apiece for second-placed Derby County and third-placed Ipswich Town.