Caley Thistle manager John Robertson says winger Kai Kennedy has proven a notable exception to his reluctance to make loan signings.
Kennedy has impressed since arriving on loan from Rangers last month, in a deal which ends in January.
Although the 18-year-old has still to find the scoresheet, he has established himself as a lively attacking threat in Robertson’s line-up.
Kennedy has started Inverness’ last five matches, with his cross leading to Scott Allardice’s goal in Saturday’s 2-0 Championship victory over Raith Rovers.
Although Robertson does not generally favour the loan system, he is pleased he made an allowance for bringing Kennedy to the Highlands.
Robertson said: “Since I have been here, we have very rarely taken players on loan.
“There is a variety of reasons. The player has to have a certain quality that is every bit as good as the player he is attempting to take the place of.
“There is absolutely no doubting Kai’s ability, he just lacks the experience the likes of Aaron Doran, Shane Sutherland and even Daniel MacKay have got in first team football.
“We feel it’s unfair to bring a player up on loan if he’s not better than or as good as what we already have.
“The second part is getting clubs to release players to come here on loan. We have to remember this is a young 18-year-old lad who stays with his mum and dad, who has been asked to come and stay in a flat up here in Inverness.
“He’s training with players he doesn’t know in a city he doesn’t know, and a training regime which is maybe not as plush as Rangers down the road.
“You have to have a certain strength of character. We feel Kai had that, similar to Anthony McDonald when he was here.”
Robertson feels Scotland under-19 international Kennedy brings an exciting dimension to Inverness’ side, adding: “I’ll show my age – I think he goes back to the tanner ball player we know in Scotland, such as Jimmy Johnstone, Willie Johnstone and Davie Cooper.
“He beats people for fun and gets out of tight situations – he’s a crowd pleaser.
“Even in training when we see him getting the ball, he excites us. He goes past players and we think he’s going to lose it, then the next minute he wriggles away and he has created something.
“Kai at times looks like a wee ragamuffin as he just bounces about, but he goes past people and excites people. That’s the type of player we wanted to come.
“He suits our style of play, which was a big reason why Rangers let him come to us. They know we attempt to play good football on the ground.
“Having someone with Kai’s physique, it was important he played in a team that suited his style.”
Inverness have welcomed the likes of Shane Sutherland, Aaron Doran, James Keatings and Miles Storey back from injury in recent weeks, and Robertson hopes the added competition can bring the best out of Kennedy.
Robertson added: “He is still learning. He has not played this level before, he has only played under-20s and development football where there’s a game every two or three weeks.
“He needs to develop his final third play, when to slot people in, shoot or give us more width.
“He will tire as well, so there will be times we bring him out of the team.
“He’s a lovely lad, he has settled in and the players like him. The biggest compliment I can give him is they are not scared to give him the ball as they do with others.
“He brings tremendous competition, but he will realise when everyone is up to speed that he’s going to really have to be at the top of his game to stay in the side.”