Paul Lambert admits he denied 'natural goalscorer' Tyrese Campbell a move to Coventry on loan because the striker could be useful.
Lambert saw the 18-year-old score twice for Stoke under-23s against Middlesbrough on Monday – taking his tally to the season to 14.
And, while Campbell is still training regularly with his own age group, Lambert will not rule out handing the son of ex-Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell a first-team call in the not-too-distant future.
The Stoke boss said: “I can’t over-protect him but I don’t want to flog him out there either. This is new to him, this situation, so I’ve got to watch him. I will know myself when the time is right.
“He's got to earn the right to get in first and foremost, he’s got to earn that, and he has to give me that problem. As an out and out goal scorer, he’ll do that.
“He played on Monday and had a couple of days’ recovery, then he trained with the kids – I had enough bodies just at the minute – but he’s one I will keep monitoring, certainly, because I think he’s got a wee chance.
“His two goals on Monday night were excellent. It’s that one of he probably didn’t do much in the game, in contacts and general link up, but when he came into the box it was bread and butter, that’s a goal scorer. The kid is a natural goal scorer.'