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Loan Watch | Lonwijk enjoying taste of first-team football

4 min read

After impressive form with Wolves at under-18 and under-23 level, Dutch centre-back Nigel Lonwijk returned to his homeland on a season-long loan with Fortuna Sittard to help bring him into contention for the Wolves first-team in the future.

Lonwijk has since made ten appearances for the Eredivisie side, three of which he has started, while his full debut came against PSV Eindhoven, his former youth team. The 19-year-old has his goal set on becoming a first-team regular and helping his current side stay in competition in the Dutch top flight.

On how his loan spell is going

“I think it’s always a good experience to go out on loan. I keep getting minutes and I’m starting a couple of games, so it’s going quite well.

“It’s my first loan so everything was new to me. Being around the squad, training, and seeing how the team goes on with wins and losses – I’ve learned a lot.

“I know what winning feels like, it’s the most important thing to the team.”

On his first full debut against PSV Eindhoven

“It was a nice moment that was special for me because I played there for 10 years and then I got the opportunity to have my first starting game against my old team, so it was a nice feeling.”

On the difference of playing in the Netherlands

“I think it’s very different to English football. It’s a lot more technical football and less physical than the way it is in the Premier League.”

On what he is focusing on

“I’m just maturing and getting used to first-team football because it’s very different, it’s more focused on winning.

“In youth teams, it’s more focused on getting play-offs but here in the first-team, it’s about winning and getting those crucial points for the league.

“I’ve been playing in different positions as well, because normally I’ve been playing as a centre-back, and now I’ve been playing as a right-back as well. So, it’s been important for me to be able to adapt my game.”

On the competition for places in the squad

“There’s a lot of competition because the right-backs can play as centre-backs and the centre-backs can play as right-backs. We’ve got such a versatile squad. There are about four or five players and we’re always fighting to play.

“Every day in training I’m trying to show my defensive ability and that I’ve got the confidence to play out with the ball.”

On his aspirations for the season

“Obviously, we’re not at our peak in the table, but what’s important is just trying to get as many points as possible to keep going so that we can stay in the competition.”

On his future with Wolves

“I signed a new contract and I’m now on loan playing first-team football. Next season, we’ll have to sit down again and discuss what the plan is, whether it’s trying to get into the Wolves’ first-team or going on loan again.

“It’s about showing myself and showing people what I could be. I would love to play for Wolves first-team someday, but we will have to wait and see.”

 Elsewhere on loan:

  • Morgan Gibbs-White was named Man of the Match after scoring a goal and providing two assists in Sheffield United’s win over Cardiff City.
  • Ryan Giles played the full 90 minutes for Cardiff in that same game, as the Blades took the points.
  • In their emphatic win over St. Gallen, Bendeguz Bolla registered an assist for Grasshoppers, while Toti Gomes also featured for the full 90 minutes and Leo Campana and Leo Bonatini featured.

By Nikita Gomes Henschl

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