Crewe manager Dario Gradi is confident Mat Bailey will make the grade as a centre-back at Gresty Road.
Bailey, 21, arrived at Crewe on a free transfer from Stockport as a striker in May 2005 and is yet to make a first-team appearance for The Alex.
Gradi told Crewe's website: "Matt is quick for a big lad and has decent footwork. We will work on him.
"Our aim is to get him ready for the first-team and see if he is ready for that step around the New Year."