Gibson lined up for England bow

Gibson lined up for England bow

Boro's Ben Gibson is in line for a sooner-than-expected England call for next month's World Cup qualifiers, according to reports.

The centre-back - who has started all five of Middlesbrough's Premier League matches so far - has impressed new England head coach Sam Allardyce and his assistant Sammy Lee.

And Gibson seems set for an England call-up for the Three Lions' qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia in October, should he continue to impress.

Allardyce watched Gibson in action during Boro's 2-1 win at Sunderland last month and has reportedly been monitoring the 23-year-old for a while.

The Nunthorpe-born defender was a regular in Gareth Southgate's England Under-21 squad, and has been a mainstay in Aitor Karanka's side over the last two seasons.

Karanka recently told the media that he hopes Gibson goes on to play international football but warned that a call-up could affect the player's form at club level.

"I hope he does. I hope he can do it because if you look at the market, the central defenders' market, it's crazy," Karanka said.

"Gibbo has a lot of qualities, but the main thing is he has to keep going in the same way because the day that he thinks he is an England squad player, he is making the biggest mistake."