Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has hailed winger Vinicius Junior for his outstanding improvement this season, backing the youngster to step him game up even more.
Long seen as a future superstar, Vinicius flirted with a breakthrough during his first three seasons at Real, bagging 14 goals in 118 games, but he has absolutely exploded this year and nearly matched that return after just 25 appearances.
Vinicius has been one of Real's best players this season, and Ancelotti put his improvement down to some added composure in his game.
"Vinicius has improved because he does things with less rush than before," Ancelotti told AS. "Vinicius has changed especially in that he takes a pause in the important moments of each play.
"The important thing in a player is that he does the difficult things well, because that makes the easy things come easier. "Vini knew how to do the difficult but failed at the easy. Now, he takes more time with the easier plays and it is going well for him."
Vinicius is still just 21 years old, and Ancelotti believes that the Brazilian still has plenty of room left to grow.
"Of course [he can improve]," he said. "Vinicius has fantastic speed and talent. I've never seen a player with his ability to go one-on-one.
"But he still has the capacity to improve. For example, in the game without the ball, in attacking spaces and shooting - he can progress in all three."
Despite Vinicius not being an academy graduate himself, Ancelotti stressed the importance of putting faith in young players and giving them the chance to prove themselves at the highest level.
"The first obligation at Real Madrid is to win," he said. "But the progression of the young players is another objective.
"We work very closely with the Castilla and there are many players from the reserve team who are appearing in the first team. They are the future and, little by little, we will have to put them in. This is clear.
"Now, with the pandemic, opportunities are being provided for them. The important thing is that those who are joining the team do so with the ability to compete, as seen in the last game in Bilbao with Peter Federico."