Hatters chief Nathan Jones is hopeful that defender Akin Famewo is learning from his loan spell with Grimsby Town despite a lack of football for the Mariners.
The 20-year-old headed to Blundell for a season-long loan in the summer after extending his contract at Kenilworth Road for another year.
However, he has made just 11 appearances for his new side, with only six starts and not featured since November 10, failing to make the match day squad recently either.
Jones said: “I hope he’s learned quite a bit.
“He’s someone here that we’ve renewed his contract, we see having a certain level of talent and ability, but what he goes out to do is to test that.
“His ability, his character, all parts of that, so it’s a good learning curve
“Some of the younger ones believe they should be in our first team. Well, if they believe that then that’s very confident and very good, but they have to prove that.
“So if they’re not at our level then we say ‘go and prove that you can dominate at that level.’
“Without being disrespectful, we’re slightly ahead of Grimsby at the minute.
"So go and dominate at that level and if you do, then we can bring you back into our environment and you’re more ready.
"If that hasn’t happened then we just need to find out why. I won’t say it’s disappointing because it gives us a gauge of where he’s at.”
Striker Jake Jervis scored his first goal for almost a year when he netted for AFC Wimbledon at Wycombe on Saturday.
Midfielder Luke Gambin has also been a regular Crawley Town during his time with the Red Devils, as on their progress, Jones continued: “We’re in discussion with all the people at the relevant clubs in terms of how they are and how they’re doing.
“Steve (Rutter) does it with Akin, I do it personally with Jervis and Gambin, so we keep an eye on them.
“We want it to be a productive one for all of them as if they’re not here, then we want their value to move forward, but it’s tough sometimes.”