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Watford boss: Middlesbrough's Johnson destined for England

Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd says on-loan Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson can be a future England star.

He said: "Adam needs to be playing regularly and needs a good couple of seasons under his belt.

"But once he becomes a regular and he learns the game he can become a really big star. I honestly believe that.

"Stewart Downing is a terrific player but Adam has something a bit different.

"He is here because Stewart is in the Middlesbrough team, that is the only reason he is not in their side. He has a lot of talent."

The physical nature of Championship football means Johnson is being forced to grow up quickly and Boothroyd believes that can only benefit him.

He said: "Like a lot of young lads who come through the academy system, Adam needs the next level of education - which is playing men's football.

"He is learning what it is to be battered about. He was whacked a few times in our 1-1 draw at QPR, expected to get free-kicks and didn't.

"That is part of growing up. He is a terrific character to work with and he wants to get better. He's still growing so he will be a big guy.

"The Championship is a rough league but he is dealing with it."

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Tribal Football Staff

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