Often used across the half-back line by former coach Brett Ratten, Gibbs' role has been a source of frustration for many Blues fans but the 23-year-old, who Malthouse described as 'outstanding', is set for more time in Carlton's engine room next season.
Malthouse mapped out plans for the 2013 season at Carlton's first official pre-season hit out on Monday and sent a clear message to the 2006 number one draft pick Gibbs, who he coached during the 2010 International Rules series in Ireland.
"He's a young man growing up and I coached him over in Ireland and he was simply outstanding over there, there wasn't any 'good', he was outstanding," Malthouse beamed.
"I'd like to think he's going to be playing in the middle but it's covered with half-back and half-forward.
"He certainly has to come up that next level and ... let's break it down to 20-minute quarters, let's say eight to 10 minutes (in the midfield), that takes half a quarter away from others to give them a little bit of relief and also be able to play other positions which I'm pretty keen to do.
"So I know his capabilities but he needs to be thrown the ball and told: 'right, you've got to run with it' and him to say, 'I want a role on the midfield'."
Aside from a failed pursuit of Collingwood's re-signed power forward Travis Cloke, Carlton were hardly active in the trade and free agency periods, with Malthouse a firm believer in second chances.
"I love second chances there's no doubt about that, third chances in some instances," he said.
"When you've got a group of players that I haven't had the opportunity to work with then I don't see a great deal of worry about jumping up and saying 'we need those players from outside', to replace who?"
The Blues failed on many counts last season but Malthouse was full of hope for a club denounced premiership favourites early in 2012.
"The club finished 10th. So any side that finished outside the eight has a fair bit of work to do but you know what's on our side? History.
"No eight has ever stayed the same eight and I'm a great believer in history.
"I think the side has got good mechanics to become a good side. I don't look at it and go: 'we don't have any key forwards, we don't have any key backs, we haven't got a midfield'."The football side at the moment has got a lot of guys that can play those roles. Some are very young and some need a hand and some need to decide if they are back end and front end players. I will help decide that."