Wales stand-in coach Rob Page heaped praise on Dylan Levitt after he started Sunday's 1-0 win over Mexico.
The Manchester United made a surprise move by joining Croatian club NK Istra on loan last month.
But Page says the decision is paying off after Levitt's performance for Wales.
"Our young players need to be out playing competitive football, that's the message we give them," Page said.
"Dylan Levitt, he's gone out to play competitive football (for Croatian club Istra) and it's certainly worked for him as well.
"I thought the two of them [Levitt and Matt Smith] were magnificent in the centre of the park against experienced players with a lot of caps in a top-10 ranked team."