Roberto Martinez has played down reports linking 22-year-old James McCarthy with a move away from Wigan, by stating that the midfielder will not leave the club until he progresses "another two steps" towards fulfilling his potential.
The Scottish-born player has been at Wigan since 2009, and his impressive performances resulted in a five-year contract extension in 2011, keeping him at the club until 2016.
But his manager, Martinez, understands that he might have to leave the club in order to reach his full potential.
"He is already a very mature player and person, and when you consider his age, it’s quite scary to think what he can achieve," Martinez told reporters.
|MCCARTHY JUSTIFIES PRAISE|
|17/2||James McCarthy to score in a Wigan win over QPR this afternoon is 17/2 with Paddy Power|
"It’s rare for a player so young to have such composure on the ball, but there is even more to come. He has another two steps to go to fulfil his potential, and I can guarantee he will do that.
"It won’t be difficult hanging on to him, because he is in the perfect place at the moment, and he knows that. He will fight to win titles and play in the Champions League, and when he does, we will all be very proud here. But it will only happen when it is right for him and us, and that will be a few years down the line."
The midfielder has become a key player since he joined the Premier League side from Hamilton Academical for £3 million in 2009, having already clocked up more than 90 appearances for Wigan in all competitions.