Head coach Aitor Karanka was pleased with Diego Fabbrini's first outing for Middlesbrough in Wednesday's 4-0 win at Barnsley, given a lack of preparation.
Fabbrini, 24, joined Boro on a season-long loan from Watford on Monday and played an hour at Oakwell.
The Italy international made 21 appearances for the Hornets, Millwall and Birmingham last season.
"He's only trained with us for two or three days and it's difficult for him," Karanka told BBC Tees.
"Diego's a very good player but it always takes time to settle in. He knows the league but was playing with kids from the academy, who also did very well.
"The most important thing for him is to get fit as soon as possible and play his way because he is a very good player."
Despite joining Boro this summer, Fabbrini had been part of Watford's summer preparations, playing in a friendly at Paderborn earlier this month.