Highly rated by former colleague Rio Ferdinand and those around the Aon Training Complex, he has certainly proved his worth during loan spells in the Championship. A successful stay with Leicester City was arguably the most impressive loan stints of any of the Reds' youngsters that season and he was unlucky it ended in play-off heartbreak in dramatic circumstances in the semi-final with Watford. He even earned a place on their three-man shortlist for the Player of the Year award.
Although he started Capital One Cup ties with Newcastle United and Chelsea under Sir Alex Ferguson, catching the eye on both occasions, he has had to be patient for more first-team opportunities. Ryan Giggs did name him on the bench for the win against Hull City during his interim spell in charge, but much of his work came away from Manchester, with Derby County and Blackburn Rovers on loan.
By returning to the fold after shining at Ewood Park, where he scored three goals, he was able to compete in the Under-21s' end of season pursuit of glory but Chelsea won the trophy with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. Big things are expected of the elegant defender and he will be out to impress new boss Louis van Gaal following the exit of Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.