Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has assured Jonny Evans he has a big future as a Manchester United centre-half.
The Northern Ireland international excelled against Villarreal and Chelsea last week but is likely to find himself out of the side as United look to record their first home win of the campaign against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
With Nemanja Vidic back from suspension, Ferguson is expected to restore the Serbian's partnership with Rio Ferdinand, leaving Evans out in the cold once more.
But the Red Devils chief has assured Evans he has no need to worry.
After turning down a sizeable summer bid from Sunderland, Ferguson has no intention of losing the 20-year-old.
"Jonny will be a future centre-half for Manchester United, there is no doubt about that," Ferguson told Inside United.
"That is a vindication of our belief in the boy. It should also prove he can believe what we're saying to him.
"We had a lot of offers from clubs who wanted to buy him in the summer - three or four clubs were interested - but we stuck to our guns because we believe in him. He will play a lot of football at this club."
Evans had expected to be involved in the Carling Cup encounter with Middlesbrough on Tuesday, although at least United's victory ensures the Belfast-born youngster will have another match to play as United look to progress into the quarter-finals and beyond.
With so many important matches to play, Ferguson has little room to make changes for the sake of it, even though Evans, by subduing Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge, proved he could take care of Kevin Davies if required on Saturday as well.
Realistically Evans knows he will be on the bench at best as the Old Trafford club start the long climb back to the Premier League summit.
But, having shown his ability at the top level in two loan spells at Sunderland, Evans is aware patience will prove to be a virtue at United.
"I do not know how much I am going to play," he said. "I might have to wait on injuries or play in cup games.
"With Gerard Pique moving on you think there is an opening but then Gary Neville is coming back from injury.
"We just have so many good players who can fit into different positions.
"But even if I am not playing, I will be looking to improve and gain experience. I have felt a bigger part of things this year.
"The manager has told me to be patient and I will get a chance."