Adam Stephen Clayton (born 14 January 1989) is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Middlesbrough. His professional career started at Manchester City, and while at City he went out on loan spells to Carlisle United and Leeds United and then subsequently joining Leeds on a permanent basis in 2010. Clayton then had loan spells at both Peterborough United and Milton Keynes Dons before signing for Huddersfield Town in 2012. He represented the England U20 team at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In 2014 Clayton signed a four-year contract at Huddersfield's Championship rivals Middlesbrough.
Born in Manchester, Clayton joined Manchester City at the age of seven years. In May 2007, he signed his first professional contract with Manchester City. Shortly after signing a new contract, Clayton was given the number 31 shirt for the season.
He made the subs bench against West Bromwich Albion and then in an FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest. On 5 May 2009 he signed a two-year contract extension.
On 6 July 2012, he joined newly promoted Huddersfield Town for a £350,000 fee, where former Leeds United manager Simon Grayson was the manager, becoming his fourth signing of the 2012–13 season. Clayton was given the number 8 shirt by manager Simon Grayson on 12 July 2012 formerly worn by teammate Anthony Kay. He made his Huddersfield début in the League Cup first round 2–0 away defeat to Preston North End on 13 August 2012, playing the full 90 minutes of the game. Clayton made his league début in a 1–0 defeat by Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium on 17 August. He scored his first goal for Huddersfield with the opening goal in the side's 2–2 league draw away to Ipswich Town on 1 September 2012. Clayton scored his second Huddersfield goal with a penalty in a 3–1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on 19 September 2012. During January 2014, Huddersfield rejected a £1million transfer bid from Brighton & Hove Albion to sign Clayton. He ended the 2013–14 season by winning the Club's Player of the Year award after making 42 league appearances, scoring 7 goals.
On 13 August 2014, Clayton signed a four-year deal with Middlesbrough after a long transfer process for an undisclosed fee believed to be £1.5 million plus add-ons. He was handed the number 8 shirt, previously worn by Jacob Butterfield who signed for Huddersfield in the swap deal.
Adam Clayton has become an integral player in the Middlesbrough midfield under current manager Aitor Karanka, forming a formidable partnership alongside club captain Grant Leadbitter.
On 7 May 2016, Clayton won promotion to the Premier League with Middlesbrough after a 1–1 draw at home against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Clayton made his debut for the England under-20 team in a victory over Italy under-20s early in 2009. He was called up for the England U20 squad in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Clayton was given the number four shirt for the tournament.
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