Slaven Bilic’s big plans for Edmilson Fernandes are set to get off the grid against Sunderland on Saturday.
With captain Mark Noble suspended Bilic hinted that the youngster will be given a chance to impress from the kick-off.
He said: “When we signed Edi most of the people, including him, were a little surprised. There were talks about him going out on loan, but no.
“He is playing a lot for us. He is not starting a lot but he is playing. The impact he has made is quite significant. He is always on the verge.
“Every week we are talking about him starting. Sometimes he has started, but on the other hand he came into a good team and he is an option in a few positions where we have Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang, who has played really good this season.
“Edi is doing very well in training and every time he has come on he has made a good impact, whether we have to keep the result or in midfield when we need someone to distribute the ball with his quick feet.”
“Our plans for him in the next season are huge. I am expecting him to be a top player. He has asked me about playing, but not in a negative way. He knows he is the player who is being used almost every time.
“I spoke to him a few times and he has to learn his English much better and he has already made a big step considering he came at the age of 20. But he has adjusted well and he has a good chance to start next game against Sunderland and we are planning to use him a lot next season.
“I spoke to him about the language and we are helping him. I remember when I came to a new country like Germany I was struggling, not necessarily on the pitch but to integrate off it. It is key. He has improved a lot, but he has to do better.
“I spoke to his cousin who is playing in France, [the former Manchester City midfielder] Gelson Fernandes who speaks five languages, perhaps he can loan Edi one!”
He looks like he’s a player with that extra bit of class… fingers crossed he fulfils his potential