Eddie Howe believes he is seeing the best of Marvin Bartley after giving the Burnley man a well-earned holiday.
The 22-year-old followed his boss from Bournemouth last year and became a regular in the side under Howe.
But the Clarets boss feared the youngster would suffer from playing too many games and used him more sparingly.
Now he feels he has been repaid by seeing a rejuvenated Bartley, who scored in their recent 2-2 draw with West Ham, and has promised him an extended run in the first team if he keeps performing.
"Marvin was excellent again," Howe told the Lancashire Telegraph. "He came in and was excellent early season, but we felt we had to give him a bit of a break.
"He was very unlucky to find himself out of the team in the first place. He wanted to play but the team went on a really good run.
"But in some senses with the season he has had and the career he has had to date we felt we needed to give him a breather.
"We are delighted to bring him back into the team now and if he keeps performing like that he will stay in the team."