Sunderland boss Gus Poyet admits it may take until next season for Nacho Scocco to settle and show his true colours.
Snapped up from Brazilian outfit Internacional for £4million in January, the Argentine playmaker is still finding his feet in English football.
He has struggled to show the kind of form which convinced Poyet that dipping into the South American market to bolster a Premier League survival bid was a gamble worth taking.
The Black Cats are, however, convinced that the 28-year-old will come good, with progress expected towards the end of the current campaign before really kicking on in 2014/15.
Poyet said in the Sunderland Echo: "I don't know how many good games we can get out of Nacho Scocco before the season ends.
"I had hoped that the final 10 games of the season we would start seeing the best of him after he joined us in January.
"Now we're into the last 10 games, we will have to see; maybe the last six.
"He joined us in what is the close season for him and it has been difficult for us at this stage to get him full match fitness and sharpness."
Poyet added on a player who arrived with a reputation as a creative forward with a keen eye for goal: "What I am looking forward to is seeing Scocco next season, after he has had a full pre-season behind him.
"I say that because we are all different. Some players find it easy to adapt, some players take longer.
"It is a lot to adapt to but it is easier if you are dropped into a team that is playing well - that gives you a better chance to show what you can do, and at the moment we are a side that is struggling for form.
"Scocco wants to play a part for us and I'm going to look at him - depending to an extent upon Steven Fletcher's availability.
"Scocco would love to play for us in the remaining games and I will look to give him his chance, if he is playing well.
"Hopefully we will start seeing what he can do by the end of the season."