Shamrock Rovers captain Ronan Finn thinks Kevin Zefi has the ability to become a future full Republic of Ireland international.
The teenager is on the verge of sealing a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan after a number of eye-catching performances for the Shamrock Rovers II team last season and for the Irish under-15s.
Zefi is poised to sign for Inter when he turns 16 next month and Finn, who coached the attacking midfielder at Rovers, says the player's ability was clear when he moved to them from St Kevin's Boys.
"I went to watch Kevin when he was an under-12, I think he was playing for St Kevin's against Shamrock Rovers, he was very, very good that day," the Hoops captain said at today's announcement of Airtricity's renewal as the sponsor of the League of Ireland.
"He then played for the year above in the next final so he was already playing 13s when he was under-12. Shane Robinson managed to convince Kevin to come to us and be part of what the club is growing. Then I started to work with Kevin a bit more closely and from day one you could recognise his talent.
"He's got unbelievable technical ability. Football is about more than technical ability, you need to have the appetite, the hunger and work-rate and attitude, he's got so many of those things going for him.
"He's dipped his toe in with us at the first-team and he wasn't afraid. We had to treat him as a man and he came in and did really well. He obviously played a lot for our First Division team last year and again did really well. Hopefully he stays injury free, you want him to keep progressing, football is a very difficult industry.
"Going to a powerhouse like Inter Milan, the competition there is going to be high, but if Kevin looks after himself and believes himself while also doing the right things, hopefully we'll have a future international."
Inter will only be required to pay a small development fee to Rovers and St Kevin's as he wasn't a full-time professional at Tallaght Stadium and Finn admits it's a blow not to receive a larger sum for the promising youngster.
“I suppose, it’s a frustration from the board and the manager. As a player, you want the club to make as much as they can. For Kevin, all of us players would wish him the very best of luck. He has a real chance but he has to work hard and make the most of his opportunities. He’s a great lad and I wish him the best of luck.”