Isaiah Osbourne is to be rewarded for breaking into Aston Villa's first team with a new three-and-a-half year contract.
The 19-year-old midfielder has made the step-up from the club's reserve and youth sides this season and made his debut in the Carling Cup against Leicester.
Osbourne has started in recent Premiership games against Liverpool, Everton, Wigan and Middlesbrough, with his progress being such a deal has been proposed that would keep him at Villa Park until 2010.
Although the deal has yet to be signed, his manager Martin O'Neill is confident Osbourne will continue to develop and become a key asset over the next few seasons.
"We are hoping to agree the contract within the week, a three-and-a-half-year contract," said O'Neill.
"Isaiah has got potential and I am very pleased with the way he has played.
"He played better at Everton than on Saturday against Middlesbrough but that is only to be expected of a young player.
"He has played four or five first team games now and I am very pleased with him."