David O'Leary is resigned to James Milner returning to St James' Park at the end of the season.
But, having come to a private agreement with Newcastle United chairman Freddie Shepherd that there is no danger of him having to return to Tyneside in January, O'Leary is determined to ensure he obtains full use out of the England Under-21 international in the next six months.
"He's a quality young player," O'Leary said. "But I've known that ever since Roy Aitken used to tell me about how well he was doing when he was in the youth team at Leeds.
"He's not a Ronaldinho. But he's a real Premier League player who will run up and down all day for you; the sort we need.
"He's certainly not one who'll feel the cold out there on a bitter morning at Bodymoor Heath."
O'Leary had left Leeds by the time Milner made his first-team breakthrough under Peter Reid only three years ago. But he had seen enough to know that he would love the chance to work with the young Tyke again.
"He's got a great energy and a great honesty," O'Leary said. "And he's a dream to work with, which is why I told Bobby Robson to buy him, just like I told him to take Jonathan Woodgate."
Teenage wide-man Milner, who does not turn 20 until FA Cup week in January, was seen as the makeweight of the deal which saw Nolberto Solano return to St James' Park on deadline day in August.
Despite being impressed with his consistency, and the touches of class like setting up last Saturday's match-clinching goal at Sunderland, O'Leary knows that it will be Newcastle who benefit in the long term from his year at Villa.
"They've got a player who will be very good for them for many years to come," he said. "I think I'll make him a better player for them.
"I'd love to have him here but I don't think Newcastle will be letting him go. And we're just grateful to have him for the year.
"He loves his training, is a very fit boy and you just know what you are getting out of James. There are lots of young players out there but he is one of the outstanding ones that could go on and do things.