Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov has been impressed by emerging defender Ciaran Clark.
Clark, 19, produced a series of assured performances in pre-season and did well on his Premier League debut against Fulham at the weekend.
Curtis Davies was ruled out of the clash with a shoulder problem, while Martin O'Neill has since signed James Collins and Richard Dunne.
Clark may have to wait for his next opportunity but Petrov expects him to enjoy a long and successful career with the club.
"Ciaran Clark has got a big part to play. He was very impressive during pre-season," said the Bulgarian midfielder.
"He played well in the Peace Cup over in Spain and against Fulham he acted like he has already got 100 games behind him.
"It is great to see young boys with such confidence and ability, especially from the youth team, and you want to see players like that break into the first team.
"He was excellent. Gabby (Agbonlahor) was the man of the match for us - but Ciaran was not far behind him. I really mean that."
Villa have won their last two Premier League games but Petrov recognises the importance of consistency following a late slump towards the end of last season.
He said: "If we want to get back into Europe again, we need to play well and do very well all the time.
"We need more consistency throughout the season."