MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos is confident young midfielder Jimmy Toumpas can be a quality AFL player, despite an indifferent start to his AFL career.
Toumpas, pick No.4 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, is yet to lock down a permanent position in the Demons' side.
The 20-year-old has played 18 games in two seasons and will be looking to take the next step in his career as he approaches his third season in the League.
Roos, who has made a strong point of rejecting the theory that the Demons' young players need to be 'saviours' of the club, is bullish about Toumpas' prospects.
"I think Jimmy can be a quality AFL player and I said that to him in his post-season interview," Roos told the Herald Sun.
While players such as Jackson Macrae (pick No.6) and Ollie Wines (pick No.7) from the same draft have prospered since coming into the AFL, Toumpas, Jono O'Rourke (No.2) and Lachie Plowman (No.3) are yet to find their feet.
Unwanted hip surgery before he joined the club set Toumpas back, while he was cruelled late last season when he was forced to have his appendix removed.
Regardless, Roos said it was important to be patient with the development of young players.
"The biggest problem in the AFL is the Giants and Suns play all their kids early. So every kid measures themselves against them," Roos said.
"He (Toumpas) needs to stop worrying about what pick three or pick six is doing, and it can be hard not to do that. But he has got serious talent to be an AFL player."
Once a distinct weakness, Melbourne's midfield is starting to take shape.
Top draft picks Christian Petracca (pick No.2) and Angus Brayshaw (No.3) are key inclusions to the Demons' midfield, with the pair joining Toumpas, Jack Viney and Christian Salem as the Demons continue to reconstruct its on-ball depth.
"I think it was the biggest weakness I saw when I arrived, it is very hard to win games of football if you only have two or three midfielders," Roos said.