Jamie Carragher claims he always believed Jay Spearing would make the grade at Anfield - and is backing the midfielder to shine in the absence of Lucas Leiva.
Spearing will be hoping to add significantly to his tally of 32 Liverpool appearances over the coming months while Lucas sits on the sidelines with a knee injury.
And Carragher has no doubts about the 23-year-old's ability to fill the void.
"It's up to someone else now to come in and try to do as good a job as Lucas was doing," Carragher said.
"That won't be easy as he's been as good as anyone in that position in the Premier League this season.
"But Jay was outstanding towards the end of last season. He was superb in our win at Fulham.
"In the Carling Cup this season he's also done really well. He has started away to Stoke and Chelsea - that's two of the toughest away games you can get in the Premier League. He's performed well and we got good victories in both of those games.
"No-one will be worried one bit about putting Jay in there. He's proven before that he's more than good enough at this level and I'm sure he will prove it again.
"I've always thought Jay could do it for Liverpool. He was part of the side that won back-to-back FA Youth Cups. From then on I expected him to be in and around the squad.
"I don't think a lot of improvement was needed because he's always had the tools. I just think the confidence and belief Kenny has shown in him has allowed him to go out there and perform at the top level."
At 5ft 6ins, Spearing is one of the shortest players in the top flight but Carragher insists his talent and desire more than compensate for a lack of height.
"That's not a problem, look at Xavi, Iniesta and David Silva," he said.
"Now, I'm not saying Jay is as good as them, I don't think he will mind me saying that, but if you're good enough, your size doesn't matter.
"Jay's a fantastic passer of the ball and puts his foot in. That's exactly what you need in that position."