Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes we are yet to see the best from club record signing Gianelli Imbula, and that the next six months will be crucial to the holding midfielder’s development.
Imbula, signed from FC Porto in January for a club record £18.2 million, was thrown straight in at the deep end following his arrival from Portugal, making his debut on a difficult afternoon in February when the Potters were trounced 3-0 at home by under-performing Everton.
But Imbula has shown glimpses of real quality since then, and comparisons have been drawn with bulldozing midfielder Yaya Touré.
And Mark Hughes believes that more is yet to come from the French midfielder, saying that the next few months will allow him to acclimatise fully to English football and learn more of the language.
"So this is a learning process for him and you sense he's going to get to grips with the league very, very quickly and that next year we will see an uplift again in terms of his influence on games and what he can do for us.
"We are very encouraged by what we've seen, but there's more to come we think."
Stoke’s form has nose-dived in recent weeks, with the season now expecting to fizzle out with nothing more than a whimper.
The Potters' last win came at the end of March away at Watford, and since then they have conceded 17 goals in six games.
With players seemingly already on their holidays mentally, Stoke fans will be looking forward to the new campaign, and they will be all the more encouraged by the prospect of an even better Imbula