He said of the former Middlesbrough midfielder: "Lee has got everything going for him. He is young, courageous and is a tireless worker. I think he can have a good career in football.
"He only turned 20 back in April and he has already played 70 games in the Premier League. We have got fierce competition in midfield and that is what every good team needs.
"You can often gauge the strength of the team by the quality on the bench, and if everyone is fit there are going to be good players who are not going to get into our team this season."