Roberto Mancini believes Jack Rodwell is ready to become a star for both Manchester City and England.
The 21-year-old, who arrived from Everton for 12 million pounds over the summer, has struggled to make a telling impact at the Etihad Stadium thus far due to a spate of injuries.
However, the Italian coach says he hopes the Southport-born youngster can now start to fulfil his potential having made an encouraging comeback in Sunday's 2-0 win over Chelsea.
"We bought Jack because we think he is a good player," he said.
"He is young and it's clear he can improve, but this year he has been unlucky with three or four injuries in a row, which meant he couldn't train very well.
"But on Sunday I was happy for him because he deserved to have something special, and he played very well. He is young and has had some problems but we hope that we have resolved the source of this problem.
"It is important that he plays well for Manchester City, and at 21 he can have a big future both for us and for the national team.
"We need good energy in this moment, and work hard on the pitch. Afterwards, when we have improved, maybe we can play differently, but right now we need that energy."
Rodwell said that he feared he might never fully recover from the injuries which caused him to miss most of his first season at the club.
He has made just seven appearances for the reigning Premier League champions so far, but played over an hour against Chelsea.
And he says he is grateful for the opportunity to finally demonstrate his ability following a frustrating first six months at the Etihad Stadium.
"I got a couple of hamstring injuries and I doubted whether I was just built for it. But I've stayed strong and now I'm back," he said.
"I'm just pleased to be back on the pitch and injury-free. I was in a few good positions (against Chelsea) and probably should have scored a couple, but I was in the right positions.
"I was probably fresh because I haven't played. I've been training really hard and feel stronger than I was before.
"My last start was back in September. I've not really had a lot of opportunities. I've had a lot of injuries. I'm still young, I'm 21, so I'm still maturing body-wise.
"I feel as though the fans have seen a little bit more of me, but there's still a lot more to come in my opinion."