David Moyes says a bizarre training ground injury to George Honeyman will have no affect on his Sunderland future.
The midfielder is one game short of activating an automatic extension to his current deal, but is now a doubt for Saturday's clash with Swansea after Lamine Kone fell on him in training.
After performing superbly against Hull City in the 2-0 win last weekend, Moyes is eager to keep a player whose outstanding application in training has impressed him over the course of the season.
The Black Cats boss added that while the 22-year-old has had to be patient for his breakthrough, it could work out to be to his benefit in the long-term.
He said: "The injury won't play any part.
"I can confirm that we want George to stay, as you would expect.
"So many young players say that they want to go out on loan, but actually sometimes it can be damaging to them.
"George is a good example of largely saying no, and staying here.
"I spoke to him and used Spain as an example – over there, they give few players of 18 or 19 their debuts. You see the odd 20-year-old, but it is not really until 21 or 22 that you see most come into the first team.
"And if you look at which country, which system, produces some of the best young players you would say Spain," he added.
"Sometimes we can over-emphasise bringing in 18-year-olds – and I have given 16-year-olds a debut in the past, so I'm no different – but it isn't always the right thing to do.
"George has mainly stayed with the club, he's had a couple of short loans, but he has come back and worked his way to the front of the queue.
"It is his attitude and his character, and his football of course, that has earned him the chance."
The timing of the injury is a particular source of disappointment to Moyes after his impressive display at the KCOM Stadium.
Honeyman was handed a key role in the win, playing just off Jermain Defoe as the side's primary playmaker. Moyes had hoped he would be able to take his place in the side again on Saturday as he looks to give fans optimism ahead of next season.
He said: "He’s hurt the base of his back which is a real shame, he was a bright spark for us last week and I’d have liked the home support to see a similar performance from him this week."