Maidstone defender Chris Smalling has agreed terms with Premier League side Fulham.

The highly-rated 18-year-old centre back had initially looked set for a move to Middlesbrough but opted against relocating to the North East last month after feeling homesick. He has now agreed terms on a three year deal with the west London side, whose manager Roy Hodgson used to play for Maidstone.

A Fulham spokesman said: “The Club can confirm the signing of development player Chris Smalling. The 18-year-old centre half formerly played for Maidstone and joins the Whites on a three year deal.”

The promising centre half made his senior debut for Maidstone in the 4-1 defeat by Tonbridge Angels in the Kent Senior Cup last April. He made fourteen appearances for the Stones last season, scoring once, as they finished fourteenth in the Isthmian League.