Sheffield Wednesday starlet Alex Hunt can go to the top, insists Garry Monk
The 19-year-old produced an eye-catching cameo from the bench in the second-half of Wednesday night's FA Cup exit to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City - and produced a delightful cross which almost led to an equaliser from fellow replacement Steven Fletcher late on.
Well regarded within academy circles at the club's Middlewood Road training base, Hunt - who signed his first professional contract with the Owls in February 2018 - previously appeared as a replacement in the fourth-round Cup win at QPR in January.
His first-team debut arrived in the EFL Cup at Sunderland early on in the 2018-19 season.
On Hunt, Monk, who is assessing the fitness of Julian Borner and Kieran Lee after both came off with slight issues in the loss to City, said: "He was very good. He brought youthfulness and energy and helped us step on in that moment towards the end and that was the plan.
"He had that freshness to step on and push ourselves higher up the pitch, but obviously there were not enough fresh legs around it to sustain it.
"But I have said all along about Alex that he has a big future. He has a lot to learn and a long way to go, but he is the type of lad who can go a long way. We just need to help him.
"Every minute he gets on the pitch and being with the first team and training with us all the time and getting minutes when he can is going to help that progression.
"We think very highly of him. I have worked with a lot of good young players and he has a good chance of having a big contribution in his career, but he has a long way to go. But nights like Wednesday will only help him."
Monk was also enthused by a powerhouse defensive display - not for the first time - from Dominic Iorfa and the Owls chief has challenged him to find a happy medium of consistency after some difficult days during the club's recent slide.
"Iorfa was fantastic. The key is the consistency. The same with most of the players," added Monk, whose side visit Brentford on Saturday.
"They were very consistent up until Christmas. It is just the consistency in the last period which has caused us problems and harnessed the results we have go. If we get back to that consistency before Christmas, we will win games and be competitive and in positions to win games."