Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has reassured Jonny Evans he is a major part of his plans at Old Trafford.
The young central defender has excelled in Nemanja Vidic's absence through suspension, with composed and mature displays against Villarreal and Chelsea earning rave reviews.
Evans' performances will not though be enough to see him fend off Vidic on his return, with the classy Serbian to retain his place in United's side for Saturday's game with Bolton, having played in midweek against Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup.
Despite conceding Evans will have to bide his time for his next chance, Ferguson - who turned down a sizeable offer from Sunderland for the player in the summer - believes the Northern Ireland international will become a regular in the future.
"Jonny will be a future centre-half for Manchester United, there is no doubt about that," Ferguson told Inside United.
"That is a vindication of our belief in the boy. It should also prove he can believe what we're saying to him.
"We had a lot of offers from clubs who wanted to buy him in the summer - three or four clubs were interested - but we stuck to our guns because we believe in him.
"He will play a lot of football at this club."
Evans accepts there are no guarantees of regular football with the domestic and European champions but is in no rush to go knocking on his manager's door.
"I do not know how much I am going to play," he said. "I might have to wait on injuries or play in cup games.
"With Gerard Pique moving on you think there is an opening but then Gary Neville is coming back from injury.
"We just have so many good players who can fit into different positions.
"But even if I am not playing, I will be looking to improve and gain experience. I have felt a bigger part of things this year.
"The manager has told me to be patient and I will get a chance."