David Platt has told Scott Sinclair that "the manager's door is always open" if the 23-year-old winger feels is not getting enough game time at Manchester City and wants to leave.
The former Swansea attacker joined the Premier League champions in the summer for £6 million but has struggled to hold down a regular place in the team ahead of the likes of Samir Nasri and David Silva.
But the 46-year-old assistant manager insisted, while Roberto Mancini will listen to the player's concerns, Sinclair still has a role to play as they look to defend their title.
"When a player comes to this club, they are going to have to accept they are not going to play week-in-week-out," he told reporters.
"When we spoke to Scott [Sinclair], he knew what he was coming into - that it was a big, big squad.
"The manager's door is always open to any player if they want to go and play like Adam Johnson did. But he seems happy."
And while the holders travel to one of Sinclair's old clubs in Wigan on Wednesday, the winger is unlikely to feature having played only two matches for City and 15 minutes of Premier League football in two months.
PLATT PLEASED WITH START
Manchester City are 15/2 with William Hill to beat Wigan 2-0
Sinclair's fate has sparked inevitable comparisons with Johnson, who left for Sunderland in the summer after becoming frustrated at a lack of playing time.
However, Platt suggested the youngster will get his chance to impress if he bides his time: "When we took Scott, we sold Adam and we were probably having similar discussions about Adam.
"He was fit and not featuring as much as he would like. We felt when Adam was leaving, we needed the characteristics within the squad that Scott provides.
"But we think he is a valued member of the squad and is going to help us."