Scunthorpe United have had to change their signing of Watford midfielder Josh Walker to a one-month loan because of Fifa rules.
The 22-year-old had signed on a free transfer until the end of the season, but he has played for the Hornets and Stevenage, on loan, this season.
Fifa rules mean he can only join the Iron on an emergency loan now.
And he will be unable to see out the season at Glanford Park because emergency loans are limited to 93 days.
Iron manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Humberside: "He's a very good footballer and technically good.
"We felt that if he got a platform he'd take it because his quality is clear for all to see."
He will go straight into the squad for the game against Colchester United on Saturday.
Walker, who has represented England at every level up to Under-20, began his career at Middlesbrough and made eight Premier League appearances for the club.
During his time at the Riverside, Walker had loan spells at Bournemouth and Rotherham, as well as Aberdeen, where he scored against Bayern Munich in the Uefa Cup.
He then moved onto Watford in August 2010 but he made just seven appearances for the Hornets.
Last season he spent time on loan with both Stevenage and Northampton Town before returning to Boro on loan earlier this campaign.
Walker's only goal this season came for Stevenage in their 2-1 defeat by the Iron in October.