Max Clayton is still destined for great things, according to Crewe boss Steve Davis.
England Under-19 international forward Clayton established himself as the latest shining light to emerge from Alex's feted academy alongside attacking midfielder Nick Powell last season.
Powell inspired the Railwaymen to promotion from npower League Two and earned a big-money summer move to Manchester United.
Clayton looked ready to fill the void at the start of this term with a brace in Crewe's opening 5-0 Capital One Cup demolition of Hartlepool but has only found the net on two further occasions.
"He's found it difficult and by his own admission he'll have wanted to do better," said Davis. "But, having said that, he's having to do it in a league higher than Nick did last season.
"If you look at where he is now, he's probably ahead of where Nick was at this time last season. Nick came on very prominently in the last five or six months of the season from Christmas onwards and improved unbelievably quickly.
"With that came the goals, the confidence, the performances. So for Max it could happen at any time - it could click like that, it could be a little bit longer than Nick. What we don't doubt is that he'll do it, he's not going to be one of those that failures. He will be successful.
"In training he looks brilliant, I have to say, he's buzzing around and really sharp in training. So he'll come, we've just got to be patient."
On the prospect of Clayton eventually following Powell out of the door at Gresty Road, Davis added: "Obviously we all want him to do well and to score lots of goals for Crewe. If he does score lots of goals for Crewe then the interest is going to build again so we can't have it both ways.
"We want him to be doing well, on the other hand whilst he isn't at the moment - and he will be soon - it keeps the wolves from the door."