Jose Mourinho believes better days are ahead for Gedson Fernandes even if his spell with Tottenham is cut short in January.
Portugal international Fernandes joined on an 18-month loan deal from Benfica at the start of 2020.
The 21-year-old has only made 13 appearances for Spurs since then and was left out of the club's Europa League squad this season.
Mourinho concedes Benfica would be within their rights to end his stay, but hopes Fernandes enjoys a successful career with or without Tottenham having been impressed with his attitude.
"The situation is sad because he was out of the Europa League list," Mourinho said to Sky Sports about Fernandes, who has made only one Spurs appearance in 2020-21.
"By being out of that list it immediately [removed] a chance of nine matches that we already played in the Europa League.
"[They were matches] where we had five substitutions where we rotated the players a lot and we can bring to the bench 12 players.
"To be out of these nine matches I believe that breaks confidence levels and even dynamics and routines and was very bad for him.
"These six months [have] become really, really bad for us and for him.
"On top of it he's a kid, it's incredible what I'm going to say, but since he arrived he didn't miss one single minute of one training session.
"So even in low levels of happiness and motivation he is managing to be a very good professional.
"Hopefully better days will come for him and they will come for sure, with us or without us, but better days will come for sure."
Spurs boss Mourinho said in November that he is happy to have Fernandes in his squad, but would not stand in his way if he wanted to move on.
And he reiterated those words ahead of Sunday's home Premier League match against Leicester City.
"If he remains at the club from January? I cannot answer you," continued Mourinho.
"I truly believe that we have to respect the player and Benfica. The player because he deserves all our respect and Benfica because as a friendly club deserves our respect.
"What they decide is fundamental and what they decide will prevail."