United's new midfielder, Ryan Burge, appears about 19 when you see him face to face.

But on the pitch, he has the air of someone much more experienced and is quite able to handle himself in the engine room of the team.

Signed on loan from Doncaster until the end of the season, the 22-year-old had a fine U’s debut in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crewe.

And perhaps it’s not surprising that he shows such maturity when he’s experienced much more already than many players his age.

The ex-Birmingham trainee has played for Barnet and Doncaster, and in both Japan and Spain.

He played for Oita Trinita in the Far East, and for Jerez Industrial CF, part of Glenn Hoddle’s Academy, in the third tier of Spanish football.

Burge did not have time to get to know his teammates ahead of the Crewe game, but that didn’t show.

“I came in on Thursday, but settled in pretty quickly,” he said. “Everyone was very welcoming.

“It’s a good atmosphere at the club, so it was easy to settle in.”

Burge, who released James Constable with his first pass, and laid on the pass for ‘Beano’s second goal, was not anxious about making his debut.

“I’m never nervous, I quite like playing under pressure and playing in front of a crowd,” he said.

“You’re only as good as your last performance, so it was good to put the Stevenage performance behind us and come up with a good result.

“Everyone put in a shift, but that’s what you’ve got to do if you want to get the result and move up the league . . . everyone has to play their part.”

Living abroad has clearly helped to broaden his outlook, and having spent time in Japan, he understandably has great sympathy for all those affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power station radiation leak.

“Playing in different countries and different cultures can only help me, I feel,” he added.

“Japan is split up into three islands and I was on the most southern island, so I wasn’t too affected by that, but I’ve got family out there too.

“It’s devastating what’s happened.

“The Japanese are probably the most friendly people you could meet, they’re so helpful and lovely really.

“Every day I was keeping an eye on the events and couldn’t believe some of the different images I was seeing.

“You can only feel sorry for the people affected by it.”