Roberto Martinez believes James McCarthy has the technique to play for any team in world football and has tipped the Wigan midfielder to join a major club one day.
But Martinez feels McCarthy should stay at the DW Stadium for now, arguing he can develop more by playing first-team football for Wigan than sitting on the bench elsewhere.
McCarthy opened his account for the season when scoring both of Wigan's goals in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Queens Park Rangers.
It capped a fine run of form from the Scotland-born Ireland international, who was signed from Hamilton Academical in 2009, and his manager believes he will improve further.
"I think technically it is difficult to find a better player. James knows he needs another period of improvement, but from a technical point of view he can play in any team in the world and he will do one day," Martinez said.
"He's a top, top player. James McCarthy showed what he can do in his attacking sense. You probably saw a more eye-catching display when on the ball and when he drove forward it was quite impressive.
"We see him performing like that week in week out. I thought his attacking play was outstanding. Off the ball, the tactical awareness he brings for a 22 year old is impressive. He has developed a lot over the years. At his age the best is still to come.
"But we just enjoy seeing him grow and seeing him enjoy his football and being an important player for us and at international set-up. James McCarthy has got the potential to play anywhere in the world but he is in a very good club now. In football you need to play. It doesn't matter what potential you have got."
Martinez also praised David Jones, who played as a central defender for the first time in his career in the draw with Rangers.
With Maynor Figueroa and Gary Caldwell both suspended and Ivan Ramis and Antolin Alcaraz still injured, Wigan were without their four main centre-backs, leading to a new role for midfielder Jones.
And Martinez said: "David Jones had to sacrifice [himself] and play in a different role for the team and I thought he was outstanding. He's never played as a centre back before."