Sunderland boss Steve Bruce insists Cristian Riveros still has a future at the Stadium of Light.
The Paraguay international midfielder has struggled to force his way into the first-team picture on Wearside since signing from Cruz Azul last summer.
There were high hopes that Riveros would make an impact in the North East after impressing during Paraguay's World Cup campaign.
But he made just five starts and seven further substitute appearances in the Premier League, leading to suggestions that he could be shipped out after just 12 months.
But Bruce has vowed to give the 28-year-old more time to settle in English football and believes he could follow in the footsteps of Maynor Figueroa and Fabricio Coloccini in growing into the game in this country.
"I haven't given up on him, not at all," Bruce told the Sunday Sun. "We know he is a good player - we saw that at the World Cup when Paraguay got through to the quarter-finals.
"But I know from past experience that Latin American players take time to settle in when they move to England. He's been here a year and hopefully he will have come to terms with the different style of football by the time the season starts.
"I've always said that you have to give Latin American players time to settle in.
"When I was at Wigan, I didn't play Figueroa for a year when he first arrived at the club. I just let him have that time to settle in and become accustomed to life in this country. At one stage it was touch-and-go with Figueroa but he proved he could adapt.
"Newcastle had a similar situation with Fabricio Coloccini. He struggled when he first went to Newcastle, but last season he was one of their best players."