Aston Villa assistant boss Peter Grant believes Gary Gardner will have a 'big part' to play for the club before the end of the season.
The 19-year-old central midfielder faces a tough test to break into the starting line-up behind Jermaine Jenas, Stiliyan Petrov, Chris Herd, Stephen Ireland, Fabian Delph and Barry Bannan.
However, Grant insists it will not be long before Gardner, the younger brother of former Villa midfielder Craig, will make the step up from the bench where he has started three times this season.
"We feel he'll have a big part to play for us soon, absolutely no doubt about that," Grant told the club's official website.
"He's a talented boy. Going through this period in December and from Christmas onwards we feel he's got the talent to be part of things.
"His performances with the reserves have been excellent, he's a fantastic professional and he will get a chance because his talent will dictate that and we're all looking forward to working with him."