Simon Rusk says he is not surprised to see under-23s midfielder Steven Alzate make a senior breakthrough.

But he is still not sure what his best role is.

Versatile Alzate, who turns 21 tomorrow, made his debut in the recent Carabao Cup win at Bristol Rovers and has trained with the seniors since the summer.

Under-23s boss Rusk said: “I have always been a huge fan of Steven.

“He has got a really nice temperament in how he plays the game.

“He handles the ball nicely and he has got a good level of aggression.

“I’m not massively surprised. I have got a great deal of faith in Steven as a footballer and as a person as well.”

Alzate’s, pictured, debut came at wing-back but he has usually played further forward and more central.

Asked his best role, Rusk said: “He is versatile and, with his attributes, it lends itself to two or three different positions on the pitch.

“What he has got is a good football brain and he is an intelligent footballer plus he is a decent athlete.

“When you can handle the ball, you are intelligent and you are a decent athlete, you can probably play a number of different roles on the pitch so that one will sort itself out with time.”

Rusk also believes Alzate’s season on loan at Swindon, where he made 15 starts in League Two and went on as sub seven times, has helped him.

He said: “It gives you a different outlook.

“It is a bit of physicality. I’m sure he had to deal with moments of adversity.

“He had moments when he was left out of the team and you have to be a strong, resilient character as a footballer so he would have gained that from that.”