Blackburn manager Steve Kean has defended the signing of a pre-contract agreement with Myles Anderson which will see the youngster given a two-year deal in the summer despite him playing just two minutes of competitive football.
The 20-year-old defender, the son of agent Jerome Anderson, who is an advisor to Rovers owners Venkys, made his debut at the end of current club Aberdeen's 5-0 win over Kilmarnock on February 19 but has not featured since.
He had previously had a trial with Blackburn last summer, making a 13-minute substitute appearance in a 3-0 victory at Southport, before moving on to train with Motherwell ahead of his short-term deal with the Dons.
However, despite his lack of experience Kean feels Anderson could emerge along the same lines as Manchester United's Chris Smalling, who less than three years ago was playing for non-league Maidstone United.
"We feel that Myles Anderson is a player with great potential as a late developer," Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph. "He could become something of a Chris Smalling who came through late in football and Myles has done the same because of his schooling.
"We think he has a lot of potential but there was the opportunity for him to go Scotland in January and we and he felt that would be a good experience for him. There was interest in him from a couple of Spanish clubs but he is our player and will be at our club full time in July."