AHEAD of Patrick Roberts’ comeback game tomorrow, Jonathan Woodgate has made it clear he wants the Manchester City loanee at Middlesbrough next season.

The attacker joined on temporary basis in the first week of the January window and wasted little time in making an impact.

The 23-year-old was impressive against Tottenham in the FA Cup and quickly established himself as a key member of the first team before sustaining an injury that has kept him on the sidelines, but he is in contention to face Swansea City tomorrow at the Riverside.

“I’d love him for next season, I told him that after his first game,” said Boro’s head coach.

“He needs regular football and I believe in him as a player, he’s a really good player.

“He can create something out of nothing, he’s got that bit of brilliance about him. When the game is not going to plan at times he can do something and win you the game. He’s got that in his locker.

“He can produce something out of nothing and I am really pleased to have him back.

“I brought him in because I knew what kind of talent he is and you could see that in the games he’s played. He produces something out of nothing, he produced a penalty against Derby, one against Blackburn.”

Roberts suffered a hamstring injury against Birmingham City on January 21 and there were fears he would be missing for two months.

Rather than return to Manchester, Roberts opted to stay with Boro during his recovery and he has made exceptional progress.

Woodgate explained: “He has had a fantastic attitude in his rehabilitation. It has been a difficult period for him, he has had different hamstring injuries but he has come through it absolutely fantastically well. The medical team have worked closely with him.

“We’ve got a really good medical team who work extremely hard to try and get players fit, not just fit bit to stay fit.

“Patrick has had different injuries and has had a different type of rehab. It was nothing against the medical team at Man City, but he chose to stay here which was good because he got to know the players more, he could integrate better.”

Swansea are 11th and retain play-off aspirations as they are three points off the top-six.

They beat Boro 3-1 in November, and head coach Steve Cooper said: “We aren’t looking past Middlesbrough, we’ve already played them once and the result went our way, but it was a tough game. League positions can mean nothing in this league as we know. That’s how we’ll be treating it.”

Boro are buoyed by beating relegation rivals Charlton Athletic last weekend, so are now two points above the bottom three positions.

It was a hugely important victory and now Woodgate hopes his team can go on a run to pull away from the drop zone.

He said: “It was big to get the win for the confidence of the players and everyone at the club, fans included. Once you get a win it gives you confidence.

“If you look at some of the games we didn’t win, against Blackburn, Birmingham and Derby, I thought we deserved to win because of the way we played. It didn’t happen but hopefully we can go on a run.”