Barely a few weeks ago, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way said that he was trying to bring back Middlesbrough attacking midfielder Lewis Wing on loan for a second spell at Huish Park. The implication was that he would be trying to reserve one of his five loan slots for the 2018-19 season for one of the better performers of the second half of last season.
Last week thoughts of that happening appeared to be dampened by the arrival of Alex Pattison on loan - a similar style of player from the same club, implying that Boro had offered the Glovers a 'Plan B'. That has tended to look the case in the last few days, with Wing having made his debut in the Championship for his parent club on Saturday, following that up by gaining his first league start for the club at the Riverside Stadium in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United.
His impact in his first two games has been obvious. On Saturday he came on as a 56th substitute against Millwall at the New Den. At that point his side was 2-0 down, but they managed to grab a 2-2 draw, with Wing providing the assist for George Friend's 97th minute equaliser. On Tuesday night he started the match, and again had an impact on the result, providing a cross into the box for Aden Flint to head home Boro's second of the evening - by the time he came off 82 minutes into the match his side had the game wrapped up with a 3-0 win.
Wing played in six out of Middlesbrough's eight pre-season friendlies, again providing assists for a number of goals. Speaking just before the opening day of the season, he admitted he was aware that he was on the edge of first team selection, having been fully involved in their first team squad, but was trying to adopt a wait-and-see policy:
"I just want to break through to the first team and hopefully go from there. I've had a good pre-season so hopefully Iím asking questions. I want to see what happens here first but I'm not ruling out a loan. I'm just going to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. I don't think I've done anything wrong, I've worked hard, Iíve kept my head down and even if I'm not in the squad I'll just keep digging away and hopefully it will come. I just keep pinching myself saying 'it's real'. I've just really enjoyed getting to know the lads, they're a good group and I'm looking forward to the season with them. I think we are looking strong, we've got a strong team and I think we are going to be a real success this year."
Wing's early breakthrough would imply that he will now stay with Middlesbrough, with it looking likely that the 23 year old will be in Boro's first team squad in some capacity for the short and medium term. Again speaking in the lead-up to that Championship debut, he acknowledged the experience that he'd gained at Huish Park last season, and felt it had helped develop him:
"It was a really good experience to be fair. I think I finished with 25 games and I played every minute and every second so it was good experience, a good learning curve and made me the player I am today."
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