Southampton had a £5million bid for the winger turned down and he has endured a tough season, missing the first couple of games as previous manager Ian Holloway thought his head was in the wrong place and then suffering a nasty toe injury that needed surgery.
Although he has only managed three goals this season as a result, down a long way on the 18 he scored in 2011-12, Ince says he is starting to show signs of the promise that Southampton and other top-flight clubs clearly saw in him.
"There was obviously a potential move for Matty at the start of the season but he didn't go. I think that knocked him back a little," Ince said. "Then he got injured and it was a case of coming in and trying to pick up the pieces.
"I think you can see in the last couple of games that he's growing more confident, getting more shots off and putting himself in positions where he can score goals. He didn't have the confidence to do that before.
"He will be a Premier League player one day, I believe that. He has all the assets to be a top Premier League player. I've never seen a player strike the ball as well as he does. I think a confident Matty Phillips will play in the Premier League. And he's getting there.
"He's a great lad, works so hard and is never a problem. He's a very good player. It's a chance for Matty to kick on now. I don't think his performances have been bad. Some players will sulk and feel sorry for themselves, but not Matty.
"He stays behind and does a lot of shooting after training, just to get that feeling of putting the ball into the back of the net."