Rio Ferdinand believes Jonny Evans must remain patient in his pursuit of regular action at Manchester United.
The Northern Ireland intentional is highly-regarded around Old Trafford, but remains on the fringes of the first team fold.
The talented centre-half continues to fulfil back-up duties for the Red Devils as Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic continue to dominate at the heart of Sir Alex Ferguson's defence.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed two productive loan spells at Sunderland, with the Black Cats seeing a summer approach for Evans knocked back by United.
Ferdinand believes that decision will benefit his young team-mate in the long run, with the England international having endured a similar predicament during his early days at West Ham.
"Jonny needs to be patient," said Ferdinand.
"The problem is he will also want to play as many games as possible.
"I was the same when I was a kid. I was behind the likes of Slaven Bilic, Alvin Martin and Marc Rieper.
"But I didn't look at how good they were, I just wanted to play. I wanted the manager to at least give me a game here and there. Jonny will be thinking that too."
Evans has been restricted to just three starts this term, although two of those outings came against Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League and Chelsea in the English top flight.
Having displayed admirable temperament during those crunch encounters, Ferdinand has no doubt his fellow defender will make the grade at United.
"Jonny has been called upon a few times already in big games this season and done brilliantly," he added.
"He is a great player. It is crazy to think he is so young. Roy Keane tried to buy him in the summer, which tells you a lot.
"He is good with both feet. He is playing regularly for Northern Ireland and will maybe become their captain in the near future.
"It explains why the manager made him realise he needs to stay here. He will have a major part to play at this club in the coming years."