Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has insisted that he always expected James McCarthy to be successful in the Premier League.
The midfielder arrived at the DW Stadium from Hamilton last summer with a billing as one of the most exciting young players in the game.
He rarely featured during the first half of the season and questions were raised in some quarters about whether Martinez had made a good investment.
However, McCarthy has now established himself as an integral member of the Latics side following a series of eye-catching performances since the turn of the year.
Martinez maintains that he never lost faith in the 19-year-old and it was only ever going to be a matter of time before he started to show such fine form.
"I had watched James many times and I knew that he had the right personality and character to make it in the Premier League," Martinez told the Wigan Evening Post.
"It took him six months here to properly be himself, which is something I would expect from a player of his age.
"But now he is starting to have a great influence in games, and his level of performance has not surprised me because he is such a talented player."