Kevin Phillips believes Tom Ince should see out the season at Blackpool before setting his sights on the Premier League.
The England U21 international is hot property ahead of the January transfer window, with a return to former employers Liverpool widely touted.
Blackpool have confirmed that the Reds have been in touch, but have informed the Anfield outfit that their current offer falls well short of their valuation.
Liverpool are unlikely to be the only side in the running once the New Year arrives, but Phillips feels that Ince's ongoing development would benefit from stability - with it the experienced striker's opinion that his young colleague would end up benched if he moved to the top-flight at this stage of the season.
Asked if Ince is ready to make the step up into the Premier League, Phillips told Sky Sports News Radio: "That's the big question. For me, if I was Tom Ince, I would want to stay at the club for the rest of the season, keep learning my trade, keep scoring goals and keep putting in performances. He'll get his move.
"More than likely, he's going to go a Premier League club and sit on the bench between now and the end of the season.
"It's a difficult one because if he goes to a big club he's going to double, treble, quadruple his wages, but he's going to be sitting on the bench most of the time. It's one of those you have to weigh up.
"For me, I'd like to see him stay at the club, finish the season off strongly. If we go up, great, come into the Premier League with us. If we don't, he'll certainly get his move then."
Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar