Manchester United manager David Moyes claims highly-rated midfielder Adnan Januzaj is progressing more quickly than he had anticipated when he first laid eyes on the teenager upon his arrival at the club.
Januzaj was a frequent inclusion for the Premier League champions during their extensive pre-season tour but, given his lack of experience, the 18-year-old found himself only on the bench at best when the competitive campaign got underway.
The Belgian was, however, granted his league debut in Manchester United's weekend defeat of Crystal Palace at Old Trafford and impressed immediately with his confidence and composure.
Januzaj, says Moyes, would have been included in the first team earlier had the club's opponents suited his style of play, but admits the youngster is still ahead of the schedule that had initially been outlined for him.
"Adnan's ahead of schedule," Moyes told the official Manchester United website. "I would have introduced him earlier if the games had been suited but the start of the Premier League has been a bit more difficult.
"I thought today if I got the opportunity I'd introduce him and I considered playing him from the start.
"His performance when he came on shows that would have been merited. He did a lot of good things, he moved with the ball well. The boy's going to be a good player, he's 18 years old and he's a good talent."
Manchester United won 2-0 on Januzaj's debut in the league, during which he played for 23 minutes, with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney scoring the goals.