It was Walker's first start of the campaign for his new side, against Wigan Athletic, having come off the bench in Saturday's defeat to Blackpool.

And Walker repaid the faith of manager Russell Martin, rifling in the Dons' second goal of the evening in the second half at Stadium MK.

The Academy youngster is in his second loan spell with the Midlands club, having made seven substitute appearances in their League Two promotion season in 2018/19.

This was his first start and first goal, though, and Walker believes he is now a more rounded player.

“I feel I’ve matured in my game and how I am every day,” he told the MK Dons website.

“With Russ, he understands I'm young and he put his arm around me and put his faith in me which has given me the confidence to go out there and play - he's the perfect manager to have and I can talk to him about anything.

“He was the main reason I wanted to come back. Russ was a player when I was here, and we'd sit together in the dressing room and he was on to me every day trying to help me improve.

“It meant a lot to me. When he phoned me to say he wanted me to come down, it was a no-brainer. He's got so much faith in me and I want to repay him.”

Meanwhile, Boro's other young loanee Connor Malley has made three league appearances so far for Carlisle United, including victories over Port Vale - his EFL debut - and Colchester United, and a draw with Oldham.