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Thing is, when you watch your kid ride the bike that first time, you don't want them to fall - but you also don't want to reach out and hold them up before they really need it.
Time to let go.
Tell the player you support his choice to make his own character. Maybe tell him that since he's newer to the game than others, you're okay with him tinkering with the character a bit more than usual until he likes it. But he can only learn by doing it himself, so if that's what he wants to do, you really need to let him.
Then wait and see how he does. If he does reasonably okay, you won't have quashed him for no reason. If he's having fun, he's good enough. If he's not, you can offer the most minimal amount of advice possible to help him.
Another thought - There are a lot of way besides absolute damage output etc. to win spotlight time, by the way. Depending on the campaign you're planning to run, make sure you collect good PC backgrounds that connect to your story, then make sure you work this particular player's background into your campaign story a bit more than the others. If he gets plenty of spotlight time from the story elements, it won't matter as much if his combat effectiveness is below average for the group.